Shanks hugging Luffy, who was weeping that he lost his sword arm to a massive sea beast to save his life. To this the red-headed warrior replied with a kind, gentle smile.
It's only an arm: what matters is that my friend is alright.
Little wonder Luffy turned out the way he did, with a role model as noble and good-hearted as Shanks.
Episode 6. Luffy fights Buggy's animal trainer, Mohji, and his lion, Richie, on behalf of an abandoned dog, Chou-Chou. The moment where he gives some treats to Chou-Chou afterward is also the first use of what will eventually become One Piece's Tear Jerker music, "Mother Sea".
Nami's reaction tells the whole story. As she sees the dog mournfully howling in front of the wrecked pet food store, she's reaffirming to herself that pirates are all the same and just destroy things that people hold dear. Then Luffy walks into the scene and she's ready to beat him up for being a pirate too...until he sits down with the dog and compliments him on fighting well, along with handing over a small bag of dog food, the one thing connected to the store he was able to save. This actually brings a brief smile to Nami's face as she sees that maybe pirates aren't ALL like that.
Luffy: There's no point trying to apologize now. It's not going to bring that dog's treasure back. That's why I'm gonna kick your ass.
After Usopp leaves his village with the Straw Hats, his old friends the Usopp Pirates wonder what they're going to do now. Pepper has an idea, and the last we see of them is the three boys yelling "PIRATES ARE COMING!" as a fitting tribute to Usopp's daily commotion, where he raised a ruckus with a similar cry.
After Zoro is defeated and badly wounded by Mihawk, Luffy makes his way over to get revenge for his friend. However despite his injuries Zoro tells him not to bother, promising his captain he will never lose again, and asks the "pirate king" if that's alright. Luffy just grins and nods. Not only is this heartwarming, it also marks the only time in the manga that Zoro is seen crying (apart from flashbacks).
Zeff ate his own foot to save Sanji because he had the same dream as him.
The anime version of that might be a little more so. In the anime, Zeff's leg got pinned under the ship wreckage when he dived to save Sanji. He could get his leg out but Sanji would have drowned by then. So to save time he used the chain of the nearby anchor to sever his leg to get him free. The blood soaked chain in the lightning really put the point across.
Sanji's departure from Baratie.
Zeff: "Hey, Sanji. Keep your feet dry." Sanji: "Owner Zeff! All this time... I owe you a Hell of a lot!
This is significant because up to this point the only ever referred to each other as "Old-bastard" and "Stinking-brat"; even a hardened old-salt like Zeff was unable to repress a Tearful Smile as the son he never had finally acknowledged his love and gratitude towards him.
The Arlong Arc in One Piece. All of Nami's efforts, hopes and dreams are crashing down around her ears, and she's violently defacing the tattoo on her arm with a knife — when Luffy grabs her wrist and stops her. For the first time completely open with any of the other heroes, Nami begs him to save her village. Without a word, he places his precious hat—something he'd previously told her NEVER to touch—on her head and marches off to battle. The rest of the crew joins him with little more than an acknowledgment of his order. It was perhaps this incident that took such a radical and disparate group and made them all True Companions.
And then he proceeds to storm into Arlong's base and punch him in the face. The reason? "You made our navigator cry!".
Nami's reaction when she sees Luffy tear her room at Arlong's base literally to shreds.
After hearing Nami's story, Johnny and Yozaku challenge the fishmen and lose. They then proceed to stand guard outside Arlong Park, knowing that the villagers would be slaughtered if they went in to fight. They stay there, calmly waiting for the Straw Hats to show up and take over.
When Luffy rises from the ruins of Arlong Park declaring that "NAMI! WE ARE NAKAMA!" with Nami tearfully nodding her head. Even better when the village realises there finally free from Arlong, and celebrates by throwing Luffy in the air. The anime later shows Nami putting back Luffy's Straw Hat on his head as a thank you, although the manga does this later just prior to walloping the Marine asshole who sided accepted his bribes with her staff.
The quote is even better in the Funimation dub. "Nami! You will always be my friend!"
The Koei game adaption took a more simple, and arguably even more heart warming approach to the line.
"Nami! You're part of my crew now."
The entirety of episode 45, a majority of which is due to the amount of call backs contained within that episode alone.
After the Arlong arc, you get one from the Marines. In his introduction, when Captain Smoker goes on patrol, a young girl bumps into him and spills her ice cream cone on his pants. Her father is immediately apologizing profusely, fearing retribution. Smoker just pats her on the head, apologises for his coat 'eating' her ice cream, and gives her a coin so she can buy a bigger cone. Not only is it heartwarming, but a perfect demonstration that, although the Designated Villain of the series, not all Marines are downright evil like Morgan or Nezumi (or a Jerk Ass like Fullbody).
In the Baratie arc, we get one between Sanji and Gin, one of Don Krieg's men. The man hasn't eaten in days and after Patty kicks him out, Sanji gives him some food. While Gin refuses at first, Sanji tells Gin that he knows how it feels to starve out in the ocean and Gin, finally giving in, eats the food while tears flow down from his face. Gin thanks Sanji for the food and it even becomes important later on as this makes Gin have a Heel-Face Turn near the end of the arc, where he saves Luffy and Sanji from Krieg's toxic gas.
We also get a couple from Buggy during his time after he lost too Luffy. He befriended Gaimon on the island of Rare Animals, even sharing a drink and the short man even helped Buggy make a new raft. And when Buggy reunited with his crew, they were overjoyed to the point of tears to see their captain had returned. They even gave him a tearful funeral before they found out he was alive. That shows that it's not only Luffy's crew who are close.
Drum Island Arc
The Doctor and Chopper. That scene is enough to make anyone cry.
The Drum Island arc is crammed with CMoH.
Chopper: But I'm a reindeer! I have antlers and hooves! And a blue nose! Well, of course I want to be a pirate, but I'm not like you! I'm a monster! I can never be part of your group! But I wanted to thank you...Thank you for asking me. I'm going to stay here, but please, come and visit sometime, if you feel like it- Luffy: SHUT UP! LET'S GO! Chopper: ... *bursts into tears*
Keep in mind Luffy wanted Chopper in his gang not realizing Chopper was a doctor. In fact, only Nami knew this before they departed. (Of course, Sanji thought he was emergency rations.)
And at the end, Chopper thinks he forgot his bag of medical equipment, when it turns out Nami found it in the sled. It would appear Doctorine tossed it in the sled before he left, knowing he would leave.
The last scene of the Drum Island arc, pictured above, was a perfect combination of this, a crowning moments of awesome and a serious tearjerker. Tony Tony Chopper, on leaving his homeland, turned around to see that Doctorine had fired off the cannons in a salute to his exit. The cannons fired off a powder that mixed with the constantly falling snow to form a giant cloud of pink snow surrounding the tallest drum-shaped mountain in the center of the island. The result was a spitting image of a cherry blossom tree. Years before this took place, Chopper's father Hiruluk told Chopper the tale of a pirate who saw a field of cherry blossom trees that healed his incurable disease and that Hiruluk wanted to make a tree bloom in the inhospitable snowy environment. Of course, the pirate in his tale was Hiruluk himself and he did create the method for his dream to come true, but his life was cut short by the corrupt government that controlled Drum Island before he could make it happen. His death sparked a chain of events within the government that led the King's second Dalton to pull a coup on the king Wapol, believing in Hiruluk's final speech of how the country could return to its former glory. Cherry blossoms symbolize renewal, as it did to Hiriluk's health and Dalton's country. Chopper, upon seeing the "tree", burst into tears over how his father's dream had come true and that the country had been healed of its torment. The Drum Island Arc is often overshadowed by the later Alabasta, Enies Lobby and Whitebeard War Arcs, but it manages to give one of the most satisfactory conclusion to a story in any form of media in recent years. The final scene can be seen here.
And Luffy after he climbed Drum Rock. Utterly frozen and with the last bits of his strength, likely hearing Dr. Kureha say Nami is dying, he grabs her arm and tells her, "They're my nakama!"
It goes much further than just that. Luffy climbed a thousand-foot-tall sheer cliff carrying his injured and sick nakama, with barely any protection from the cold. He sacrificed his jacket to help keep Nami covered, then lost it to the wind. Because he's an idiot, he's still wearing his signature shorts, and his feet are bare so he can grip the rock wall. His fingers are frostbitten and bleeding, and the first thing he thinks when he sees the doctor is STILL saving his friends.
In the flashback, King Wapol sets a trap to catch and execute Hiriluk. He spreads the story that the Twenty Doctors - the only ones on the island other than Hiriluk or Kureha - are all dangerously sick. Hiriluk, believing the story, fights his way to he cstle, only to be surrounded by all of Wapol's men. When he sees that it was all a trap, and has dozens of guns pointed at him, what is his reaction?
"Thank goodness. No one's sick. I really thought... this was a national emergency. But it was only a trap for me."
And immediately afterwards, Wapol gives the order to kill him, only for Hiriluk to tell them they can't kill him.
"When does a man die? Is it when he's shot in the heart with a pistol? No. When he's stricken with a deadly sickness? No. When he eats soup made from a deadly mushroom? NO! It's when he is forgotten! I may disappear, but my dream will live on. And the ailing hearts of the people will be healed. [...] Someone will continue my work. Soon, a monster will appear. He's my son. Don't hurt him. HA! WHAT A LIFE IT WAS!"
And his last thought, just before he toasts his life with the potion that kills him?
Don't worry, Chopper. Your mushroom didn't kill me.
When in Drum Island, Luffy and Sanji were attacked by a bunch of Lapahn while they were bringing sick Nami to the only doctor on the island. They kicked a baby Lapahn's ass easily but then it's parent and other Lapahn showed up and caused an avalanche which buried not only Sanji but the baby Lapahn's parent as well. While carrying both Sanji and Nami, Luffy saw the baby Lapahn trying to desperately dig up its parent even though its paws already ached. When Luffy approached it, the baby Lapahn thought he was trying to harm them and growled while trying to protect its parent. Luffy grabbed the Lapahn which was buried under the snow and pulled it up. He helped those in need and carried on with his mission. Now that is a heartwarming scene that brings a smile on your face and tears to your eyes.
What was also pretty sweet about that was when Luffy was about to get attacked on 3 sides by the baddies of the arc—unable to fight with Nami and Sanji in his arms—the Lapahn suddenly showed up to help him! Seeing the Lapahn paying Luffy back for his kindness is very sweet.
This is a bit of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it: When Sanji and Luffy realize that Chopper changed size and exlaim "HE'S A MONSTER!", at first Chopper walks away from them, obviously sad. Later, when Luffy punches Wapol in the face, we get the following exchange:
Chopper: Did his arm just scretch?
Sanji: Yep. He's a rubberman.
Chopper: Rubberman? What is that?
Sanji:[Smiles widely] A monster.
How has Luffy carrying Nami not been mentioned? It's so sweet and endearing that Luffy would actually carry his sick navigator on his back through the freezing cold. Really one of the defining moments for the kind of captain Luffy is.
In Chapter 147, Dalton has been mortally wounded, hovering on the brink between life and death. Cue the Twenty Doctors, previously thought to be nothing more than blindly faithful servants to King Wapol, stepping in to offer their help. Taking off the surgical masks and goggles that made them Faceless Mooks, they admit that they only served Wapol out of fear, and continued their medical research for the good of the whole country. Their inspiration? Dr. Hiriluk's Heroic Sacrifice. "Because we've learned from one fake doctor that we should not so easily give up."
The earliest scenes with Ace and Luffy together when they first reunite in Arabasta. We get to see some good brotherly bonding, including an arm wrestling match which ends with them crushing the water barrel they're holding it on.
The scene where Luffy defeats Crocodile counts as a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Crowning Musicof Awesome due to Dvorak's New World Symphony 4th Movement playing, and this due to how well it fit in. In particular, the part where Vivi sees Crocodile sent flying and remembers despite all her worries about Crocodile's manipulation of the country, Luffy with his usual enthusiasm simply says "So all I have to do to Crocodile, is kick his ass, right?". Then the True Companions pondering how the hell Crocodile was sent flying with Usopp replying with great joy that finally, Luffy won.
Tashigi's batallion of marines had the Straw Hat Pirates, exhausted and mortally wounded after defeating Baroque Works, cornered and dead to rights. Yet the young Marine is filled with so much respect for them having saved Alabasta from Crocodile's genocidal war that she ordered her men to stand down; sternly warning that anyone who dares to arrest them will personally answer to her. Tashigi may hold a vendetta against pirates, yes, but the bravery and valor of the Straw Hats moved her so much that even she was able to see them for the heroes that they are.
"A so-called "King" is but a man with adorned with decorations and entitlements; here in a bathhouse, stripped of all this, I just a man like you. And as a man and a father, I humbly kneel before you in gratitude for saving our country and my little girl."
Vivi telling the Straw Hats that she must stay behind and hoping that they will consider her a friend if they meet again. While they are unable to say yes for fear of her being labeled a criminal, they show her the "marks of friendship" on their arms, and she immediately understands and shows hers. While the moment could be a Tear Jerker, it is touching to see them acknowledge her as a friend.
Montblanc Cricket's reaction to hearing Luffy ring the bell in Skypiea.
Especially his response to the Saruyama Alliance, who are worried that their association is at an end. "What should our new dream be?"
Calgara's farewell to Noland.
Made better when we see an image of his ancestor Montblanc Noland and Calgara together laughing, something that both had been denied when they died.
Episode 180 of the anime, when Zoro goes out of his way to catch Robin from falling after she is blasted by Eneru's lightning. Standard nakama-practice, until you remember that Zoro was the only one of the crew that had remained leery of Robin's presence up to that point.
"PEOPLES' DREAMS NEVER DIE! AM I RIGHT?!"
Everyone's reaction to hearing Luffy ring the Golden Bell for the first time in 400 years.
Seeing the Straw Hats, Skypeians and Shandians have a party around a blazing fire. Considering that all parties were in some way hostile to another, particularly the Shandians and the Skypeians who were at war for 400 years, this is really heartwarming. Hell, Zoro had time to have a beer with Braham (who he had previously fought), and Conis tended to a heavily injured Wiper.
Davy Back Fights
After being bombed and hit relentlessly by Foxy in the Davy Jones Games, Luffy continually stood up again and again, shocking his opponent and the audience, leaving many wondering how he could still fight. And Luffy tells them:
Luffy: "To save my nakama ... I will fight to the death!!!"
For those who don't know, the winning team of the Davy Jones Games can select a member from the losing team to be their new teammate. Meaning that if Luffy lost, someone from the Straw Hats would be with the Foxy Pirates for good.
Even the guys on Foxy's side thought it was this when they saw Luffy's determination to fight on. And they had to be reminded by Foxy they're cheering for the wrong side.
The countdown for Foxy to be sent flying after Luffy used a shard of mirror to reflect his own Noro Noro Beam on him and give him a few powerful wallops as he goes up to the helm of the ship. It starts with Zoro counting own the seconds until Foxy's beam wears out, then Sanji, then Usopp leads the crowd on Foxy's side to join in as Foxy slowly gives motion, and when it reaches zero, Foxy goes sky high as Luffy cheers his victory.
Made even better, after Luffy won and woke up, he was surrounded by all the Straw Hats, smiling at him gratefully. But Zoro's line was the one that made the most impact.
Zoro: "I thought about it. If I left this ship, I'd have no point in being a pirate anymore."
You guys forgot one.
Chopper: I went out to sea because of you! No... I refuse! Luffy! I went out to sea because you asked me to! I wont go with these guys! I WONT! I'm the doctor of the Straw Hat Pirates... TONY TONY CHOPPER!
A blink and you'll miss it moment comes up in 213 with Zoro trying to teach Luffy how to skate. By the end of the episode he's able to stand up without falling down and everyone starts cheering for him, including the hundreds of enemies.
Water 7/Enies Lobby
That scene in the Enies Lobby arc. You know, the one where the Straw-Hats face Robin after she ran away from them and willingly gave herself over to the government for their safety. She yells, almost on the verge of tears, that no matter what, no matter how much they care for her, they'll eventually see her as a burden and abandon her. At which point Luffy proves how far they'd go for her when he orders Sogeking to shoot down the World Government flag, effectively declaring war on the entire world. This triggers some of the most heartwarming dialogue of the series.
Luffy: Robin! I still haven't heard it from your mouth! SAY YOU WANT TO LIVE!
Robin: *thinking* Live... I thought wishing for it was forbidden... Nobody would allow me that... If.. If I'm allowed to declare my wish... Then I...
I WANNA LIVE! TAKE ME OUT TO THE SEA WITH YOU!!!
Keep in mind that the Straw Hats saved her out of sheer apathy for her past. It wasn't "We love you despite your burden." It wasn't even a freaking CONCERN for them. They never even bothered to ASK her what it was! They simply chose to make her burden their burden.
They never CARED what her reason was. The fact that their actions up to this point so clearly resemble those when Nami officially joined the crew (Arlong arc).
This is also the scene where Robin realized she had found the nakama that Saul said she would, and that, after twenty years, she had finally found her place in life.
Right after Robin lays out just how vast the danger of associating with her is, and Spandam outlines just how many nations are agains them, Luffy's response is wonderful.
Luffy: Yeah. I understand exactly who Robin's enemy is. Sogeking. Shoot down that flag.
Another scene later on in the series also qualifies. Luffy lies on the ground, so exhausted he can't even move. He breathes in deeply... then shouts at the top of his lungs: "LET'S GO BACK TOGETHER! ROBIIIIIN!"
An absurdly touching scene takes place between Usopp and Sanji. Usopp, having left the crew out of fear that they will eventually leave him behind because he's so weak, is saved from Jyabura by Sanji, who informs him that he'll take over the fight. He then tells Usopp "There are certain things I can do that you can't. Just like there are certain things YOU can do that I can't!" Later on, after Usopp successfully snipes a group of Marines targeting Robin, it's Sanji that starts cheering "LOOK! OUR SHARPSHOOTER RULES!" The notion that an over-chivalrous woman-lover who would sooner eat a mouthful of sand than treat a man better than a woman would proudly give his crewmate the moral support he needs is very sweet.
Also the part where Luffy is about to thank Robin for saving him after his fight with Lucci, but she uses her powers to put a hand over his mouth and thanks the crew for saving her.
Really, the whole series is built on a foundation of Heartwarming. And Tear Jerkers. Usually both at the same time.
After four years of believing that Franky was dead, Iceburg and Franky had a little, bitter reunion. Franky had heard the news of Iceburg accepting a job from the World Government, even though they captured and dragged their father-like figure Tom to Impel Down, and was understandably furious. However, Iceburg calmly argued that it was Franky's fault for making the weapons that allowed the Government to capture Tom in the first place. Then curiously, he gave Franky the blueprints for the ancient weapon Pluton and told him to leave the island, letting the Government believe that Iceburg had the blueprints and would come after him instead. As Iceburg walked away, he told Franky that though he would never forgive him, he was also glad that Franky was alive, to the point of tears.
In the same scene, Franky gives it right back to Iceburg, declaring that he wouldn't leave the island and leave Iceburg to face the Government on his own. With this flashback, we now know why Franky had a brief Heroic BSOD when Lucci (falsely) told him that Iceburg was dead.
Let's not forget the funeral of the Going Merry. Seriously, the scene made you cry over a freakin' ship.
Merry: But I was happy. You always treated me well... Thank you. I... was always so happy! All because of you!
The scene where Robin is first inducted as an archeologist. They actually had a celebration for her. This is beautiful because Robin at that point had no friends, and her aunt would always mistreat her. To see that there those on the island that actually care for her shows that even she wasn't completely unloved.
When Robin first meets her mother and holds her hand despite the entire island of Ohara going straight to hell, she says:
Robin: I've wanted to do this for a long time.
Even when Saul, a Marine deserter purpose himself to make sure Robin survives, and carries Robin explaining that they can't turn back due to the Marine warships on that side, despite her home being targeted for destruction, despite her being torn from her mother again, and despite the fact that those alone are a damn traumatic thing for an 8-year old child to experience, Saul gives this heartwarming gem, even if she's too young to understand the full implications of what that means:
Saul: Robin! Be proud, Robin! Your mother is great! Ohara is great! And you will pass down their history! The history of how Ohara 'fought the world!!'
Usopp's return to the crew. He starts with a bunch of excuses shouted to his fleeing True Companions, who ignore him. Then he swallows his pride, gets on his knees, and shouts his apology at the top of his lungs while Manly Tears stream down his face. Luffy tearfully accepts his friend back onto the ship while the other Straw Hats smile.
Even as Nami was joking about how pathetic Luffy and Usopp were being with their Inelegant Blubbering, you could see her smiling through her own tears.
Near the end of the Enies Lobby arc, when the Straw Hats jump into the ocean to find that The Going Merry miraculously appeared to help them escape.
Merry: Let's go everyone...!! Back to the sea of adventure again!! I came to take you home!!
The background of how Franky formed the Franky Family. The big guy? A thug who tried to mug him. The girls? Drunks he picked out of the gutter. Most of the rest? Starving in the streets before he gave them food, jobs, and a place to live. No wonder they're all so dedicated to him, and no wonder he sobbed when he had to leave.
When Franky Family were arguing with Franky to convince him to leave and join the Straw Hats, the line that stunned and caused Franky to burst into tears was this:
Zambai: "Are we not allowed to consider your happiness?!"
The marines coming to rescue T-Bone.
A very minor one, but heartwarming nonetheless. When Robin first joined the crew she would simply refer to other members by their titles on the ship (or in Usopp's case, she'd just call him long nose like most of the others), and after she was rescued from Enies Lobby she started calling the other members of the crew by their real names.
Thriller Bark Arc
Anything with Brook, his original crew, and Laboon.
Even when they are recording on the Tone Dial as they are dying one by one (in the hopes that Brook's Revive-Revive Fruit powers work and he revives), they flashback to happier times when Laboon joined in singing "Bink's Sake".
The Straw Hat crew's version of the song, sung by the members of the Straw Hat Pirates. Unlike Brook's Tone Dial on the Rumbar Pirates rendition, the song is complete and instead of eerie silence at the end, you have the Straw Hats celebrating and talking. It sinks in that Brook has managed to move past his long period of suffering and found a new place with the Straw Hats. Listen to it here.
Not only that, but Sanji also attempted to give his life for both Luffy's and Zoro's dream and was only stopped when Zoro knocked him out.
Before that, Kuma gave the Straw Hats and their allies an ultimatum (Really a compromise, since he was ordered to Kill 'em All, but still) : Either hand the unconscious Luffy over or he'll basically nuke the island. Cue a Big "NEVER!" from everyone in unison.
When Moria is finally defeated all of the shadows return to their original owners, allowing them to once again go into the sunlight. One of those owners was a little maid who shattered her master's favorite plates when she made the discovery. She apoligizes, but all her master can think about is how happy he is that she has her shadow back.
Brook's entire flashback - especially the final song played on the tone dial.
After just about everything that's plagued Brook for the past fifty years has finally been resolved, and he has found new companions, Brook slams his fingers down on the piano, and shouts while openly weeping "I'm so happy to be alive!" Knowing what kind of Hell he's lived and endured, it's just so...
There's also the fact that Franky made the Mini Merry II. He never rode on the original Going Merry, but knowing how special it was to his new crewmates, he decided to build the Mini Merry as a memento of it, therefore reviving it, in a sense. Needless to say, the crew was overjoyed when they saw it. It's even more heartwarming when you remember that Franky used to be a villain.
As a testament to just how much Nami has changed from the miserly thief she once was, she unhesitantly pursed their entire 200-million-Berries loot from the Thriller Bark saga as their bid to buy Camie's freedom "legally" at the slave auction, resolutely stating "If it's to save our friends, we will spend as much as we need to." Yes, Nami the female Ebenizer Scrooge loving her friends (even those she has barely known for a week) over money; what a long way she has come.
A moment in the anime: Hatchan, in an effort to protect his friend Camie, gets shot down by a Celestial Dragon, who, not satisfied, proceeds to further humiliate him. The heartwarming is in when Luffy, who at the beginning wasn't even considering helping Hatchan as an option, kneels next to his wounded body as he (Hatchan) proceeded to apologize, saying that he just wanted to make up for the bad things he did to Nami (who is led to tears). Luffy then does what all the readers wanted to do at that point: he walks purposely towards the Celestial Dragon and punches him to next week, fully aware that doing that would trigger a calamity. But really, who cares? The bastard deserved it!
Nami in the same situation qualifies too. She clearly says, at the end of the flying fish fights, that she won't forgive Hacchan. But the revelations about the racism the fishmen suffered and still suffer make her doubt and hesitate, even more when she actively witnesses Hatchan being a victim of said racism. And when he's shot down by that son of a bitch, her horrified scream, her tears as he apologies, and the fact she rushes to his help after Luffy gives the bastard what he deserved clearly shows that she no longer holds a grudge against him and forgives him.
Law's meeting with Jean Bart. Bart was once a highly respected pirate captain but had been reduced to the humiliating position of a slave. You can really see how touched he is that Law knows who he is and actually wants him to join his crew. Shows Luffy isn't the only captain with complete and utter respect for his Nakama.
When Rayleigh tells Luffy about his relationship with Shanks, he also reveals that Shanks had happily told him all about Luffy. Luffy's reaction is to pull his hat over his head in a mix embarrassment and happiness.
Similarly, Rayleigh talking about his experiences as Roger's first mate and the day of Roger's execution is both heartwarming and a Tear Jerker at the same time. The way he talks about Roger's death speaks so deeply of their friendship.
"Just a few seconds before the flame of his life went out, it flickered... and he turned it into a blazing flare that covered the entire world. I've never laughed as hard as I did that night... I've never cried as much as I did that night... Nor have I ever drank as much as I did that night. He led a marvelous life as my captain!"
After the fight to the death with Hancock's two sisters, Hancock gives him the choice of either using her snake-pulled ship to get to Sabaody Archipelago, or have Hancock un-petrify the three girls who originally found him on the island and had stood in his defense. Without missing a beat, Luffy bows on ground and asks for their un-petrification.
Not so. Hancock gives him the choice and Luffy bows and thanks her for agreeing to undo the petrification. He never even thinks about the ship.
Boa Hancock being able to cry unashamedly in front of another person, open up to someone other than her sisters and reveal her past, fall in love with Luffy and genuinely smile very heartwarming. After all that she had been through, being a slave for the World Nobles for four years and enduring through horrors that made her want to die at age twelve, it was just so heartwarming to know that she still had emotions.
Impel Down Arc
Impel Down: Luffy fights the warden Magellan, is "fatally" poisoned, defeated, and carted off to Level 5 of the prison to presumably die a painful death. Back on Level 4, Mr. 2, who had previously ran away, gathers Buggy and Mr. 3 back together and says that they have to go and save Luffy immediately. When Buggy demands to know why they should stick their necks out for him and go to certain death, Mr. 2 replies: "Because he's a friend!! I don't need any other reason than that!!"
After Mr. 2 begins carrying Luffy to Ivankov via a cart, they get attacked by wolves. Mr. 2 tries to fight them off, but is overrun by their numbers. Then Luffy, who shouldn't even be able to move at this point, stands up and scares away the wolves through his stare. But that's not the Heartwarming part. After that, they both fall to the ground, too weak to stand, and Mr. 2 had apparently fell unconscious. Ivankov and Inazuma find them both like this and is originally opposed to treating them. But, he decides to treat both of them when Luffy asks him to treat Mr.2 before himself, even though he's the one who needs to be treated more.
Again in Impel Down which is shaping up to be both extremely epic and touching: after being poisoned by Magellan, Luffy's only hope for surviving is going through an incredibly painful healing process which causes him to scream in agony nonstop and is supposed to last over two days, which would prevent him from rescuing Ace before his brother's execution. As soon as Bon Clay learns of this, he refuses to rest or eat and stands in front of Luffy's locked recovery room and begins to shout encouragements to the amazement of his fellow Okamas. Spurred by his example, the rest of the okamas begin to join in and shout encouragements for over eight hours to Luffy. This causes him to heal quicker than exepcted and recover in about 18 hours, just in time for his brother's transfer to the execution site.
Impel Down: Vice Chief Hannyabal is initially presented as The Starscream of Impel Down. He appears to be nothing more than an incompetent coward that even considered letting prisoners escape so that his superior would take the blame. However, when all hell breaks loose as Luffy and his new incredibly powerful alliance begin to break out through the levels, Hannyabal shows his True Colors. His desire to become Warden is not merely a desire for power, but a true belief in the need to protect the outside world from the scum locked in the prison, lest the fear of these criminals spread, and he would give his life to protect that ideal. To that end, he takes an absolutely brutal beating from Luffy, who is many times stronger, and yet refuses to movetime and time again. In the end, though, he's brought down, making this somewhat of a Tear Jerker.
As a follow-up to the previous moment: Warden Magellan, who Hannyabal had openly criticized and announced his desire to replace, honors Hannyabal's determination and states that Hannyabal is his only successor. Despite Hannyabal's behavior, Magellan knows that his heart is in the right place. Hannyabal's beaten up and disbelieving face is priceless. Leave it to this series to make even the most sadistic of bad guys sympathetic.
Once again, Impel Down: Mr. 2's 'Heroic Sacrifice' where he stays behind in the prison so that he can impersonate its warden so that the Gates of Justice can be opened allowing Luffy and the rest of the escapees to sail to freedom. He only tells Jimbei so that the others won't find out, and when they do, it's far too late to turn back and Mr. 2's cover has been already blown. Everyone is moved to tears (save for Crocodile and Mr. 1), with Buggy and Mr. 3 even apologizing for being assholes throughout the entire arc, and everyone bellows out a tremendous "THANK YOU!!!" as the Gate closes behind them.
In an anime-only moment in a recent episode, Garp during his visit to Ace in Impel Down relates Luffy's recent adventures to a beaten and despairing Ace who then smiles. Even in his darkest hour, in the middle of the closest thing to hell that exists in the One Piece universe, Luffy's antics can still bring a smile to his big brother's face! A clear example of why Filler isn't always a bad thing!
In the recent chapter 552, it consists of a flashback regarding how Ace met up with the Whitebeard Pirates, being forced to join their crew. Several times, he attempted to kill Whitebeard but always failed. Until finally one day he asked Marco, one of Whitebeard's captains, why they all called Whitebeard "pops". Marco told him because he calls them his "sons".
Marco: To the rest of the world we're all just outcasts. It makes us happy. It's just a word, but it makes us happy.
Ace, who never knew his father and always claimed to hate him, looked down at hearing this like he was about to cry.
From the same chapter, when Ace told Whitebeard who his father was, he was afraid he would get kicked out, seeing how Roger and Whitebeard were great enemies/rivals. However, Whitebeard told him it was just a minor detail anyways.
Also, after Blackbeard killed Thatch, Ace was determined to hunt him down, even though everyone, including Whitebeard himself, didn't want Ace to. He angrily said that Blackbeard brought disgrace and shame to his father and he wasn't going to stand by it. This shows what a great difference from when Ace first joined the Whitebeard Pirates to the fiercely loyal second captain of the Whitebeard Pirates now.
Ace later blames himself for leaving when the others told him not to. He tells them they should forget about him because it was his "own damn fault". Their response?
Whitebeard: No, I told him to go. Isn't that right, Marco?
Marco: Yeah, I heard it with my own ears. We're sorry for putting you through this trouble, Ace!!
My, this chapter is just brimming with heartwarming moments. Another moment is when Ace apologizes to Whitebeard and the rest of his crewmates for causing them so much trouble and tells them to leave him behind. Marco answered on behalf of everyone there.
Marco: This entire ocean should know...just what happens to any damned fool who lays a hand on a member of our crew!! Other Pirates: We won't leave a single one of those bastards who hurt you alive, Ace!! You just wait!! We're coming to get you!
In Chapter 556, Garp opted to sit near his adopted grandson instead of joining the battle against Whitebeard and finally admitted that while he had no sympathy for criminals, family was different and he finally breaks down and begins to cry. Keep in mind, this is the guy that just laughed whenever his family's horrid deeds were reported to him!
Most recently, the flashbacks between Ace and Little Oars Jr. about the time they became friends when Ace made him a hat. Also a major Tear Jerker.
Oars: Ace is a nice person! I won't let him die!
And the most recent chapter brought us this: "I'm your little brother!". Whitebeard's reaction to it is also quite the shaker.
Whitebeard: *grinning* I won't forgive ya if you let him die, Marco.
In chapter 563:After getting stabbed through the chest and accused of selling out all of his allies in order to save Ace, Whitebeard hugs the man who betrayed him and says:
Two Newkamas appear to save Luffy from Mihawk. They ask if he remembers them, and he quips that he doesn't remember the face of every insect he crushes. Standard Badass Boast... until you remember that he told Zoro, who could be considered an "insect he crushed", to surpass him. It adds a whole new layer to the way Mihawk views Zoro.
Garp, after defending the execution platform and telling Luffy he'll have to kill him to proceed, throwing the fight and letting Luffy knock him off the bridge. Made even more heartwarming by the flashback to when Luffy was a kid.
Garp: You probably hate me for being so strict. But the reason I give you such hard training, and want you to become a Marine, is because I don't want you to go down the wrong path. That is my wish.
What may perhaps be the most heartwarming gesture towards a friend happened in chapter 571, courtesy of Mr. 3, the same Smug Snake who once tried making wax sculptures out of the Straw Hats for his own perverted sense of art, by him disguising himself as a Marine, all so he could free Ace inconspiciously, and thanks to him, Luffy finally frees Ace! And the reason Galdino did that? To honor Mr. 2's last wish.
Mr. 3: If I told you I was here to mourn my fallen comrade and avenge him... would you laugh at me?!
Garp needing to be physically restrained by Sengoku when he sees Ace get impaled
Garp: You'd better keep me held down here tight, Sengoku!! Because if you don't you can be damned sure... I'm going to murder that Sakazuki!!
In chapter 574, as Ace laid dying in Luffy's arms, he whispered his Famous Last Words to his brother.
Ace: Pops!! All you guys!! And... Luffy... Even though I've been good for nothing my whole life... Even though I carry the blood of a demon... you guys still loved me... Thank you so much!!
A retroactive one when in the next arc we learn who Dadan was. Just before Ace dies, he tells Luffy that if he should ever come across her again, to tell her goodbye from him because now that he's going to die he even misses her. Who is Dadan? Their mother figure from when they all met and became brothers.
Chapter 575. Whitebeard and his crew vow to protect Luffy in order to fulfill Ace's promise is pretty heartwarming. Its like they see him as one of their crewmates as well.
A retroactive one in Chapter 576. We've gotten a flashback a couple chapters ago that hints at how Whitebeard has no interest in actual treasure. As Whitebeard stands dying, we get the rest of that flashback, which reveals that what he does want, and has wanted ever since he was a kid... was a family. Puts yet another layer of heartwarming on the dynamics between Whitebeard and his crew.
Even Sengoku gets one in Chapter 578/Episode 487, when the Marines have felt demoralized even after Whitebeard's death, because of Blackbeard stealing the late pirate's power, gloating that no-one is willing to take him on and he'll just take to sink the whole of Marineford with his newfound power to show them exactly what he thinks of justice. Sengoku doesn't this lying down, and quickly transforms into his Buddha form before delivering a shockwave to the Blackbeard Pirates. He then delivers a Rousing Speech to keep the Marines' spirit up and their pursuit of justice:
Sengoku: The fortress can be rebuilt. But the island of Marineford is the hub of our world!! For all the citizens of the world who fear an invasion of evildoers this is an ominous day!! But justice and righteousness will never be defeated!! Don't you dare speak lightly of sinking this island, you fiend!!
This speech, particularly in the anime mirrors that of Hannyabal's. So Sengoku scores with this one, proving he's not just an amoral Chessmaster, but his duty is to the world.
Near the end of the Whitebeard war, Crocodile has just saved Jimbei and Luffy from Akainu. He demands that someone put them on a ship. Buggy happens to catch Jimbei and Luffy. Law suddenly shows up and demands that Buggy hand over Luffy and Jimbei to him because he is a doctor and he can help them. Buggy angrily yells something along the lines of, "I don't know who the hell you are! Why should I hand them over to you!" Heartwarming because it shows that very very deep down, Buggy cares for Luffy by refusing to just hand him off to a random stranger as he is basically dying.
Elaborating on Crocodile's Villainous Rescue, the man who was once one of Luffy's most sadistic adversaries delivers a surprisingly poignant line to Jimbei:
Crocodile: "If you want to protect him, you should damn well do it properly! How long do you mean to keep letting [The Marines] get exactly what they want?!"
A very minor one in chapter 579. In the previous chapter, Luffy had just lost his Straw Hat, and fans everywhere were wondering what would happen to it. Indeed it was a dark time. So when things are at their darkest, none other than Shanks, the man who gave him the hat, shows up. After his Big Damn Heroes moment, he calmly strolls over and picks up the hat. Then you think all the way back to the beginning of the series: "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!" Someone's getting pwned.
Turns out no one's getting pwned. Instead, Shanks has Buggy return the hat to Luffy, not wanting to break their promise, then stops the war. After everything is said and done, he takes Whitebeard and Ace to have a proper burial. Nicest rival Warlord ever.
In the latest chapters Luffy flashes back to his and Ace's childhood and what led them to become brothers. He despairs, convinced that he's weak despite all the work he'd put into becoming strong enough to protect his family.
Hell, the flashbacks to his childhood are themselves CMOH: from Luffy, Ace, and Sabo becoming brothers to Dadan claiming Luffy and Ace as her sons!
The flashbacks are heartwarming in part that they reveal the depth of Ace's sacrifice. While he wasn't able to keep his promise to Luffy, he was at least able to keep with the last wish of Sabo, his first best friend.
Dadan's assaulting Garp after he returns to Windmill Village and Calling the Old Man Out on Luffy and Ace's behalf. Especially when you consider how she and her gang spent years in terror of the man, her rage and despair at what happened during the Paramount War makes her cast that aside with zero hesitation.
"No matter what kind of pirate that idiot Luffy becomes, I'll be on his side! He must be suffering terribly! It breaks my heart to think about it! Luffy!! Don't let anybody beat you!!"
Becomes even more heartwarming after the Fishman Island Arc, when Luffy asks Jinbei to join his crew, because that would mean that even when the other Straw Hats couldn't be there for Luffy, he already had a Straw Hat with him, albeit unknowingly.
If Luffy's "I want to see them again" scene doesn't make you cry, that's fine. But no matter what, it'll definitely force a smile onto your face.
When the rest of the Straw Hats learn what Luffy has been going through since they were separated, they all immediately try to leave whatever island they're on because they know that Luffy is in bad shape and they want to be there for him. Nami's reaction is especially heartwarming and sad:
Nami: I have to go to him before he completely breaks down! [later] Luffy, I know you're okay! I'm sorry! You've always supported us! Now it's our turn to do the same for you!
Special mention goes to Usopp. Despite being in no condition to fight, he tries over and over again to escape the giant venus fly trap filled with dangerous animals he is trapped on.
From Chapter 593, Robin tells the Revolutionaries that she doesn't need protection, because:
"I have my own friends."
She also thinks to herself, somewhat amused, that before meeting Luffy, she had never considered becoming strong for someone else.
When Nami is sent off by Kuma, it's to the land of Weather. She attempts to steal their technology and is captured and arrested by them when she breaks into tears about what Luffy's going through. The old men feel so bad about it that they release her, and she immediately FlashSteps away with the stolen technology and one of the old men as a hostage, revealing that she was crying crocodile tears. From a distance, she organizes a deal: they keep her on Weatheria and train her in the arts of weather, and she returns the technology. Just before she takes back the weather technology, Haredas the hostage delivers this line:
Haredas: You still haven't stopped your crocodile tears, girl.
Understandable since she knew firsthand how much it hurt for a loved one to be killed right in front of you.
Hell, Chapter 596 was one giant fuzzy ball of heartwarming. Watching the crew flashback to their time with Luffy and decide to grow stronger so that they can support him as well really sells it.
Chapter 588 has one. Though overall a tearjerker, it does have this gem; Dadan, who had mostly been a rather abrasive guardian who seemed to see Ace no different than many others (as the son of Roger), shows how much she really cares...in her typical fashion.
Dadan: Your father died and changed the entire era! Become as big a man as him before you even think about getting yourself killed!!
Episode 506: Sanji is apparently become accustomed to the Okama life style when he suddenly comes across the newspaper and reads the news regarding Luffy. That's more than enough to bring him back to his old self instantly. It's somehow nice to see how he, deeply inside, puts his captain's health above anything else.
Episode 514: Nami explaining her reasoning for wanting to learn more about weather. She wants to help Luffy to become the pirate king, and to do so, she must be the best navigator there is.
It gets even more touching when Nami silently adds to herself that she wants to help Luffy as he helped her. We then get a flashback of when Luffy told Nami that she was one of them after he had defeated Arlong.
Episode 515: Usopp's thoughts on Luffy. He thought that Luffy did not really need him in the crew. However, over time he realized that this was not the case and his role in the crew is very important. So he vows to get stronger and become the true king of the snipers in order to help Luffy become the pirate king.
Episode 515: Zoro throwing down his pride for Luffy by asking Mihawk to train him.
Really any scene between episodes 513 to 515 that involved the straw hat pirates. Each of them remember when Luffy asked them to join their crew and how Luffy had helped them out in the past. Therefore, they all want to become stronger for him.
We should add the last half of Episode 516 to the list. Before starting his training with Rayleigh, Luffy thinks about his crew and the promise he made to his brothers before putting his prize hat on the rocks for safe keeping. When he finishes putting it down, a remix of We Are plays as he runs off. We then get several touching scenes of the Straw Hats getting stronger for each other on their different islands. Once they cut back to Luffy one final time we hear him renew his vow to everyone, including Ace and Sabo, to once again become stronger. When the episode ends instead of the usual 'To Be Continued' we get a title card that reads, 'Go To New World'. It really shows that the story is entering a new chapter.
Return to Sabaody
Chapter 598: The crew begins to come back together. Especially heartwarming is the reunion of Usopp and Nami. Usopp has just come in Dynamic Entry style, and has just met Nami for the first time in two years. Her reaction upon seeing his face is to immediately hug him.
Her first reaction to seeing Chopper is hugging him as well. The woman's become a virtual cuddle machine.
Just happened in episode 517 of the anime. Nami's reaction to Usopp is positively adorable.
Chapter 601: Luffy saying his Catch Phrase after the Time Skip, bringing smiles to Zoro and Sanji's faces, as well as Manly Tears to Rayleigh's face. It really means a lot for Luffy to be saying it again, signalling that He's Back, given how the loss at Sabaody and the death of Ace sent him spiraling into a Heroic BSOD.
"Rayleigh... I'm gonna do it! I'm gonna be King of the Pirates!"
Rayleigh's tears could also be interpreted as a sign of remembrance for his own captain. People have compared Luffy to Roger on several occasions. Rayleigh might see Luffy as his captain's dream living on.
Chapter 602: The entire crew is finally back together.
Also, the allies of the Straw Hats intercepting the marines. Also counts as a CMOA for each of them.
Chapter 603: The depth of Kuma's sacrifice: Kuma more or less literally saved his soul to become converted into a human weapon for the World Government, but not only did he save all the Straw Hats before he was fully converted by sending them all to different islands, he made a deal with Dr. Vegapunk to program him to guard the Thousand Sunny until one of the Straw Hats arrive even if means his destruction, after his complete conversion. It was revealed that the Marines one year into the Time Skip found out where the ship was and Kuma sided with Duval and Hatchan in protecting the ship, battling the Marines. Even Duval and Hatchan retreated from sustaining severe injuries, but Kuma kept on fighting. By the time Franky saw him, he had received severe damage. Kuma simply said "Mission complete." upon seeing him and departed. Kuma had essentially sacrificed his life and even in "death"/after his completion as a Pacifista, he purposed himself in making sure the crew of his comrade's son is safe. Franky even said that they owe Kuma a massive debt. It also double as a Tear Jerker as the next time they see him, he'll be a soulless cyborg.
The anime rendition of Brook's final concert as Soul King. The song itself is heartwarming, but through it all, Brook's 'manager' (the longarm that kidnapped him in te first place) hesitates shooting, remembering Brook's raise to stardom. And when he tries shooting again, he's held back by his partners, who give a 'let him finish' look.
The song itself is basically Brook giving a tribute to the Straw Hat crew, and their dreamer attitudes, accentuated with all the Straw Hats being themselves.
Fishman Island Arc
At the end of chapter 622, in the flashback to Fisher Tiger's life, he scars an 11 year old human girl and makes her burst into tears. It Makes Sense in Context. The girl was a slave who had been rescued by Tiger years before, and was still stuck with mental conditioning that made her a Stepford Smiler, constantly afraid that she would be killed if she displeased those around her. Tiger scarred her to destroy the slave brand, and made her cry by throwing away his pistol and promising that no matter what, he would make sure the child got back to her home.
It gets even more heartwarming, remember Fisher Tiger was described as basically a rageaholic by Hancock. He also has an intense hatred of humans because of the racism. He's willing to push all that to the side, more or less, the branding was a bit drastic, but necessary, to try and make an 11 year old human girl feel better and act normal.
It continues in chapter 623 where the little girl Koala sails with the crew and there are plenty of adorable interactions of her and Hachi, Jimbei and the others. Also, when she was leaving to return home, she runs up to Tiger and holds his hand as they walked towards her village. Considering what Tiger and fishmen had gone through and their own dislike for humans and yet they've grown to cherish and accept this human girl.
Chapter 625 has a subtle but very, very sweet scene between Otohime and her husband Neptune. She's about to go off with the World Noble to negotiate, but Neptune wants to come along, presumably to protect her. She declines, and then tells him to trust the wife he chose, and to trust humanity. What makes this special is how it's possibly the first unambiguously romantic scene in the manga, and it works because it doesn't stall the plot, and is tasteful and utterly heartwarming.
In the beginning to chapter 626, Otohime is brought to tears when, after successfully getting a deal from the Tenryuubito, nearly everyone on the island gives her their approval of her ideas.
Chapter 627: Nami forgiving Jinbe, Franky crying over the latter's story and declaring his love for fishpeople/merpeople, and also Nami making friends with Shirahoshi.
Chapter 634: Luffy starts calling Shirahoshi with a different nickname, after he realizes that she kept the secret of her mother's killer for ten years so as to not risk spreading more hate. He acknowledges that although she's a crybaby, she's far from weak like he originally thought.
Chapter 636: Luffy learns that Surume the Kraken was only following Hody's orders to protect his brothers back home. At this, Luffy cheerfully says to Surume that he'll protect them too. The implications behind it are a good Tear Jerker, but anyone who's read up to this chapter knows that Luffy's going to keep his promise, no matter what.
Chapter 644: Having realized just how they got here, Fukaboshi asks Luffy to end the island's hatred and, in his words, return everything back to zero (past-wise, of course). Luffy's response?
"Just leave it to me. Before we all stepped into the plaza with Jinbei, my crew and I vowed to not let anyone on Fishman Island get hurt. We're friends now, right?"
From the same chapter: the rest of the island hears this speech, too. The Minister of the Right shows obvious guilt over his initial belief that the Straw Hat Pirates were the ones responsible for all the chaos: "Are these the kinds of humans that we've been doubting?"
And after that? The crowning moment comes when one of the fishman civilians—who was running scared when Noah was seen hurtling towards Fishman Island—promptly halts in his tracks, and declares that he's not going to run. One by one, others start to take up this belief, standing their ground and putting their faith in Luffy, a human pirate.
Chapter 645: A flashback shows us how Whitebeard once shared a drink of friendship with King Neptune, and declared Fishman Island under his protection to keep other pirates from preying on the mermaids. As in he stopped such slavers ''personally.'' And the fishman from chapter 644? The one who stopped running? He trusts Luffy as much as he did Whitebeard, despite his own fear and bigotry towards humans.
There's also Luffy showing he developed a fire-based technique that is clearly a tribute to his brother and his signature technique.
After Jinbe saves Luffy's life, in defiance of Fishman Island's laws, with a blood transfusion, Luffy asks him to join the crew. Yes. Yes. YES!!!
Not just that, but the way he does it! After a huge war against racism between the two races... after saving Fishman Island from Hody's evil reign, and after nearly dying yet again... the first words out of his mouth were "Hey, Jinbe! Be my nakama!" No trauma, no pent up rage or battle spirit from the fight, not even any concern like "Are my crew members okay? Did Noah crash," etc... He just smiles and asks Jinbe to join!|
Just how Jinbe had no hesitation to give blood to Luffy. Everyone else (minus Shirahoshi) hesitated, even though they were eternally grateful to Luffy for saving the island. Jinbe without blinking an eye offered as much blood as Luffy needed.
Also Fukaboushi's words upon witnessing the above event. And remembering his earlier words to Luffy to "destroy Fishman Island" and free the island from its own hatred, thus making it return to zero, it is doubly heartwarming to see.
Mother ... this is "zero".
Chapter 652: Even after being caught by the Marines, most of the pirates the Straw Hats freed refused to sell them out.
From the same chapter: when King Neptune and Jinbei discuss the idea of the latter joining Luffy's crew, Jinbei worries that Big Mom's ire over his departure might be directed at Fishman Island. King Neptune just tells him not to worry about it, and that if they lose Big Mom's protection, they've still got the aid of the Straw Hat pirates. Not only is the king telling this former Warlord not to worry about how his actions will affect the island, but he holds the Straw Hat Pirates in as high regard as he would one of the Four Emperors. This troper gets the fuzzies just thinking about it.
Chapter 653: The Straw Hats departing for the New World. Luffy and crew make a pinky promise with Shirahoshi to see her again, this time without her being such a crybaby.
One of the first things Franky does when arriving at Fishman island is look up Den,the younger brother of his adoptive father Tom, to tell him what happened to Tom and that he lived well. To add to the heartwarming, Den reveals that he had already learned of Franky and Iceburg from Kokoro who sent him letters, Franky just smiles saying that she's such a thoughtful old lady.
Punk Hazard Arc
Chapter 654: After being sucked in by an underwater whirlpool's horizontal funnel cloud (...as usual) the Sunny crashes into a school of whales the size of a mountain. After briefly mistaking them for Laboon, Brook breaks down crying and starts calling them out, asking if they had lost a baby whale some fifty years ago and reassuring them that Laboon is alive and doing fine. Then Brook starts singing "Bink's Sake". The whales hear his song, and return a friendly smile before helping the Straw Hats to the surface.
Chapter 658: Nami deciding to help the giant children escape.
Chapter 661 Cover: Hannyabal finally achieved his dream and became Warden of Impel Down!
Franky using his cyborg upgrades to help the aformentioned children ignore their fear of the frozen bodies in the room leading to the exit was quite heartwarming. But it gets out shadowed imediately after when he strikes his Super pose, and is accompanied by the children, Chopper and Sanji! The fact that one of the most serious members of the crew copied the pose really shows how close they've got. Now we just need Robin, Nami and Zoro to follow suit and "Heartwarming" will be redefined...
In chapter 663, Luffy thanks Law for treating him two years ago. Even after Law tells him he did it on a whim, Luffy is still grateful to him.
Chapter 668: The chapter's cover.
Even after two years someone has visited Ace and Whitebeard's graves to give an offering and show them the article of Luffy's return
Luffy insists on Law being a good guy, but even if he isn't he doesn't need to worry since he has his crews with him.
Chapter 677: Tashigi is willing to throw away her pride and beg Warlord of the Sea Trafalgar Law for her life. Not for her own sake, but for the sake of stopping Vice-Admiral Vergo, so that way her men and the children stuck on the island can go free.
From Chapter 679: Some of the Marines' sacrifice to save Tashigi from the deadly cloud of gas Shinokuni. Doubles as a Tear Jerker when Tashigi sees them petrified, yet still giving a thumbs up.
Chapter 684 beautifully shows Smoker's concern for his men.
"Don't lay a hand on my subordinates!!"
Chapter 685: The flashback Momonosuke has about the other kidnapped children's kindness. He acted all tough and samurai-like, but it's obvious he was moved.
Chapter 689: Luffy reassures Brownbeard by gently tapping him on the head. Awwww.
Chapter 694: A certain antagonist shows... surprisingly Luffy-like qualities regarding his subordinates.
Doflamingo: I'm sorry, partner...you've been my longest tenured soldier. For all the dirt I've put you in up until now, you have my eternal thanks.
Chapter 696: Nami decides to let Tashigi take care of the children. After all, it would cause trouble for the kids and their parents if Nami saved them herself, since she's a pirate. Not to mention that Tashigi tearfully asked her to let her take care of the kids. Partially because her mother was a Marine herself, Nami feels relieved to leave the children in the care of a strong and kind Marine woman.
From the same chapter, there's also the party held by the Straw Hats, Marines, and Caesar Clown's surviving henchmen. Not only is everyone having fun, but Tashigi is at last seen smiling again! Considering how she hadn't smiled once ever since the Alabasta arc, it feels so good to finally see her smile again ! Not to mention Kinemon reuniting with his son, which is also satisfying to see after all the crap they've been through. And finally, the very fact that the Marines are partying along is heartwarming in itself.
This chapter was full of heartwarming moments. We still haven't mentioned Chopper hugging Mocha in relief. You can really tell how much he cared about the kids, and how close he got to Mocha especially. Kinemon's speech about the Straw Hats to his son is also heartwarming, as it shows how much the samurai has come to respect them, despite the fact that he normally hates pirates.
Chapter 697: The Marines' reason for badmouthing the Straw Hats? If they don't, they'll start admiring them.
Also, Tashigi laughs. Like the previous chapter, it's extremely satisfying to see her laugh like that after all the crap she's been put through, especially in the Alabasta arc.
A small one, but when Doflamingo discovers the heads of his defeated subordinates, he's quick to assure them that he's not upset at them. That's surprisingly nice considering that the first we saw of him was him throwing away one of his subordinates.
A few chapters later, as he takes out his anger on Smoker, Kuzan arrives. What follows is as heartwarming as it is awesome.
"Excuse me. Mind taking your foot off his face? That's my friend." cue Curb-Stomp Battle
In 703, Luffy learns that Doflamingo has Ace's Flame-Flame fruit and is offering it as a prize in the Colosseum. Franky realizes this is probably a trap... then tells Luffy to go for it anyway, because it'd be boring for him to just regret not trying.
And yet Luffy asks Franky if he wants it so nonchalantly. It doesn't even occur to him to have an issue if it's one of his crew eating that fruit.
In chapter 705, Admiral Fujitora, planning what seems to be an attack on the Colosseum, orders his men to prepare the medical team, and count the number of civilians in the Colosseum, the city, and the country. His reasoning?
"Before counting the number of enemies, shouldn't we count the number of people we have to protect?"
Bellamy. Just... Bellamy. Firstly, in chapter 706, he tells Luffy that he has learned to remember his dreams. Yeah, Bellamy. That Bellamy.
I won't... Laugh at you.
Following that, in chapter 709, Luffy cheering on Bellamy in the tournament. And getting his name correct.
DO YOUR BEST, BELLAMY!
And then, in chapter 710: "You've changed, Bellamy!" as well as "You've crushed my pride, Straw Hat."
In chapter 714, look at his face when Diamante tells him to assassinate Luffy after the tournament. That's some serious guilt building up there.
Chapter 712: The beautiful dancer Violet, who asked Sanji to protect her, lures him into a trap and reveals herself to be Doflamingo's subordinate. She ate a Devil Fruit that gives her the power to read minds, and attempts to use it to extract the information about Luffy and Law's alliance from Sanji's brain. How does Sanji win her affection over Doflamingo? By refusing to believe she is a bad person. And he is completely right.
Sanji: Even if a million men judge you... I WILL NEVER QUESTION A LADY'S TEARS!
When Fujitora mentions to Law that if he's taken the Straw Hats as subordinates (as opposed to the equal alliance reported in the papers) then the Marines will look the other way since he's still a Warlord, Law insists they're his equals. The man would rather fight an admiral than refer to the Straw Hats as mere subordinates.
Rebecca wants to live with the toy soldier who only regrets that he cannot cry for her.
As of Chapter 720, we have several heartwarming moments, one after another:
Bartolomeo, the JerkassBarrier Warrior who's done nothing but go out of his way to rile people up, attacks another contestant because he insulted Luffy. Turns out that Bartolomeo has incredible admiration for Luffy for his valor back in Loguetown, and firmly believes that he's going to become the next Pirate King. Who ever expected such a massive Heel to have such Hidden Depths?
Don Chinjao, his head restored to its original drill-esque point by Luffy's punch, has completely abandoned his grudge against Garp and his grandson. He's even gone so far as to pledge one of his fleets to the service of Luffy!
Despite being attacked by the mysterious Rebecca in a sneak attack after she paid for his meal, and overpowering her, Luffy refuses to finish her off—partly because he didn't sense any killing intent in her attack, and partly simply because he's still alive. Talk about Turning The Other Cheek!
The flashback in Chapter 721. Rebecca reminisces about her time with the Thunder Soldier during her childhood. It started off dark with the death of Rebecca's mother Scarlett, but the rest of the flashback definitely fits here.
Looking back, this is taken Up to Eleven considering that the Thunder Soldier is in fact Rebecca's real father, which was revealed in Chapter 726. He could have went on with his business after becoming a toy (courtesy of Sugar of the Donquixote Pirates), feeling miserable about what happened to him, but no. This man looks after his little girl for 10 years in this state, raising her to the young girl she is now. And even though she doesn't remember him as her father due to the effects of Sugar's Devil Fruit powers, Rebecca still thinks of the Soldier as her father anyway!
Since Chapter 743, Sugar's powers have been negated, so all of the toys have turn back to normal and everyone has regained their memories of those who were toys. In Chapter 746, Rebecca correctly deduces that her father whom she recently remembered is in fact the Thunder Soldier. She then thinks back to her time with him (complete with 3 panels from Chapter 721) and breaks down in tears, now knowing that her old man was by her side this whole time.
In Chapter 722, Cavendish stands up for Rebecca and berates the crowd for jeering at her, even though they don't have the guts to fight her themselves in the arena.
In Chapter 724, Law tells Nami's group to take Caesar and flee Dressrosa, but they refuse to leave behind Luffy and the others.
Nami: We're called Straw Hats for a reason.
In Chapter 730, after finding out how much trouble Trafalgar Law went to to make sure Doflamingo doesn't have all the cards, including fighting a losing battle against him, Luffy decides to abandon the tournament to go help Law. When someone makes an alliance with Luffy, Luffy honors that alliance!
In Chapter 731, Bellamy's been brutally attacked by one of Doflamingo's agents, who never expected him to succeed in killing Luffy, and has ended up in pretty rough shape. Bartolomeo is the only one around who can help him...and does so without a second thought. When Bellamy expresses his disbelief, since they were pretty much adversaries in the arena and nothing else, he gets this for a reply:
Bartolomeo: So what?! Men who have fought together are comrades! Even if I were scum, I wouldn't let a friend die without helping!!
Also from Chapter 731, Luffy abandons the tournament to go help his friends. When Bartolomeo asks him about the Flame-Flame fruit, Luffy admits that he'd rather not let it fall into Blackbeard's hands...but that it can't be helped; the lives of his friends are far more important.
And following that up? Bartolomeo reveals that his whole reason for entering the tournament and seeking out the Flame-Flame Fruit was so that he could give it to Luffy.
Remember Koala, the former slave who tagged along with the Sun Pirates? She's all grown up, and she knows Fishman Karate: quite likely as a way of honoring the people who saved her life, despite not being a fishman herself.
Back in the arena, Rebecca no longer fights alone, reviled by all—Acilia, another female gladiator, is backing her up!
The big kicker for the climax of Chapter 731? It's hinted that Luffy's childhood friend and sworn brother, Sabo, is still alive!
And when he announced his intent to claim the Flame-Flame Fruit, Luffy agrees without a second thought and gives him his tournament costume before rushing to save his friends, confident that the fruit is now in good hands.
Chapter 742: In Thunder Soldier's flashback, we see that Scarlett used to hate him for his past crimes, but after she is kidnapped and he saves her, she comes to love him to the point of faking her own death so she could be with him. Then Rebecca is born, and Kyros initially refuses to touch his daughter, not wanting to soil such a pure thing with his dirty hands. And later, he is seen touching her and playing with her, though with gloves on. Awwwwww...
A minor one, but Bartolomeo vocally showing his disgust at Diamante's gloating over murdering Scarlett to Rebecca while she breaks down in tears is rather nice at once again showing that, for being a Troll and a Heel with a large amount of blood on his hands, even when not dealing with the Straw Hats he has SOME standards, and is willing to stick up for poor Rebecca.
With the defeat of Sugar all the toy slaves are returned to normal and everyone regains their memories of them, including their loved ones. Definitely very touching.
For a smaller one, Senor Pink is visibly annoyed by Sugar's defeat, calling her a brat. However, immediately afterwards, he hopes she's not wounded, showing he cares about his crewmates.
Chapter 744: Sabo eats the Flame-Flame Fruit, gaining Ace's devil fruit powers and inheriting his will by becoming his direct successor. To cap it off, he uses Ace's signature technique "Fire Fist" to destroy the ring completely as a homage to his brother.
It's relatively minor, but Chapter 745 shows us Koala hugging Robin when the latter meets her, Sabo and Hack again for the first time since the timeskip. It is absolutely adorable, and despite being a small moment, it shows how close the two have gotten over the two years Robin was training.
Say what you want about Doflamingo, but give him respect for loving his crew like a family, just like Luffy does. Well, the immediate crew of executives at least.
The tears Rebecca sheds when she finally learns and comes to the realization of just who the Toy Soldier has been to her all along.
The cover of chapter 749, featuring Dadan dreaming about her boys.
In Chapter 758, Usopp says that he feels great guilt over forgetting Robin when she got turned into a toy, and when he finds out that Luffy might get turned into one by Sugar, he is terrified. His desperation to save Luffy drives him to perform arguably the best sniping shot he has ever done, even unleashing Observation Haki in the process to make the shot work.
In Chapter 759, Bellamy, having been present for Luffy's confrontation with Doflamingo, and unwillingly influenced by Doflamingo's string powers, attacks Luffy. When Doflamingo points out that the only way to stop Bellamy is to beat him down, Luffy refuses. Bellamy is visibly moved by this.
In chapter 760, it turns out that the group attacking Usopp and King Riku's group weren't really trying to capture them—they know that Doflamingo is just using them all, and beg Riku for guidance.
King Riku asks their captors to wait for the outcome of Luffy and Doflamingo's battle before they act, privately reflecting that he's come to believe in them.
Admiral Fujitora shows up and admits that he, too, is willing to put his faith in Luffy to bring down Doflamingo.
Considering the fate of the Donquixote family, not hard to see why
Chapter 762: 16 years ago, a panicked Jora almost gets a young Law kicked out of Doflamingo's pirate crew by expressing the fear that his disease is contagious (it is not). The one that stops her and calms her down? Doflamingo himself.
In fact, when panic began to spread about the disease and Law showed anger and discomfort, Doflamingo slammed his hand down and chastises Jora for believing in the rumors. Despite Law only being there for a week, Doflamingo was already willing to stand up for him. Later, we see that he's asleep, but he was reading a book about Flevance beforehand.
Chapter 763 has the flashback continues Doflamingo doing nice, if somewhat twisted things by showing he's the one who suggested Law could cure himself of his deadly lead poisoning by getting his hands on the right devil fruit. Also, he saved Law and Baby 5 from a pirate ambushing them.
Also that Corazon covered for Law after Law stabbed him.
The entire flashback sequence further shows how close the young Donquixote family were, as befits their name: Law, Baby 5 and Buffalo were akin to childhood friends, Baby 5 babysat Dellinger when Jora weren't around for that, Jora coddled Law like an obnoxious grandma (much to his distaste). Then there's Doflamingo, Corazon and Pica beating the hell out of a wanted criminal who almost killed Law and Baby 5, saving the kids' lives. That's oddly heartwarming for a self-styled family of pirates.
During Doflamingo's flashback, there is one panel showing Doffy and his brother sharing food with their mother despite living in a hellhole they were not accustomed to. Tugs at the heartstrings knowing how Doflamingo is right now.
Doubles as a Tearjerker, but Doflamingo's flashback really showcases that, despite being horribly naive about how the way the rest of the world views the Celestial Dragons and the utter cruelty of his fellow World Nobles, Homing, Doflamingo's father, really was a good man and DID care about his family. The moment shit started hitting the fan, he tried to find a way to get his wife and sons sent back to safety, and kept trying after his wife died to get his sons taken back, and then begged the mob chasing his family to take out all of their rage on him and leave his sons be once they caught up to them.
After hearing Trafalgar Law's true name, Donquixote Corazon/Rocinante immediately hauls Law away and warns him to stay away from Doflamingo. In order to emphasize how important this was to Law, Rocinante actually speaks, something that he hadn't done for years, even going so far as to keep his ability of speech secret from the rest of the Donquixote Family, including his brother. The fact that he does this is heartwarming in and of itself, as it shows just how much he cares for Law.
Chapter 764 reveals that Corazon truly took after his kindhearted parents, in stark contrast to this brother. He risks everything just to save the life of a boy whom he barely knows. One who stabbed him in the past, no less.
Also counts as a nice little Pet the Dog moment for Sengoku, who apparently considers getting kids away from Doflamingo one of the prime objectives of a deep cover operation.
Also in a kind of twisted way, it's heartwarming that Corazon just gets so mad over the hospitals' panic over Law's condition and refusal to treat him that he pretty much destroys them. There's a lot of panels of Corazon and Law walking away from a exploding hospital.
A definite Not So Different moment when compared with Doflamingo as one could easily imagine Dofy doing the same.
Also Law shifting into calling Corazon "Cora-san" as a sign of affection and/or respect, much to Corazon's own surprise.
In Chapter 765 when Corazon finds out about the Ope Ope fruit, the sheer joy and excitement he has when he tells Law that there is a way to heal him if he eats it and is willing to betray his brother AND the marines just to save this kid he barely knows.
The ending to Movie 10.. After Nami joins Shiki's group, she leaves a farewell message on a Tone Dial, saying how she's going with Shiki and that the Straw Hats would surely die if they went against him. While listening to this, Luffy absolutely snaps, lets out a huge scream, and trashes a nearby hillside in anger. At the end of the movie after Shiki is defeated and the Straw Hats are sailing on once again, the Tone Dial turns up again, which hits Luffy's nerve again. Turns out however, that there was more to Nami's message that he couldn't hear before because he was too busy leveling the countryside. Unfortunately, Nami tries to stop him from replaying the message out of embarrassment or whatever, and during their struggle for control over the Dial, it's knocked into the sea. Despite this, we the audience still get to hear what Luffy couldn't.
Nami:Definitely... Come to save me.
The final line in the dubbed version also counts.
Nami: "And if you don't believe me... then prove me wrong and save me."
The covers to the manga. Usually the covers will tell short stories about minor characters, but in between those stories, there are filler pictures with the Straw Hat Crew interacting with various animals. And ever since the Alabasta Arc, Vivi has always been right there with them. She may not be sailing to the end of the world with them, but she is part of their Nakama.
The CP9 even get one. Like several other characters, they get a cover arc after they disappear from the main story line. The heartwarming comes into effect when they all work their butts off in various odd jobs so they can get the money to pay for Lucci's medical bills. So, the power of nakama works even for the villains of this series, eh?
Same goes for the Baroque Works agents in their own cover arc. Miss Goldenweek deserves a special mention: she went extreme lengths to save coworkers she never meet.
The cover of Chapter 596 features Luffy and his brothers as adults Including Sabo, who was assumed to be dead. Eyes are covered, but we get to see what he might have looked like as an adult.
Another subtly heartwarming bit? On the cover where Sabo is alive as an adult, Ace's tattoo, which most had assumed was misspelled by the tattoo artist, is missing the crossed out S. That was no mistake. It was Sabo's jolly roger from when they where children, deliberately put right in the middle of Ace's name as a tribute to him.
Take a look at chapter 598's cover◊ which shows the crew restarting their adventure after two years,and compare it to the chapter 1's◊ where Luffy has just started his journey.Pretty cool, don't you think?
The same applies to the cover of Volume 1◊ and Volume 61◊. Also, the chapter and volume names are the also similar.
Volume 1/Chapter 1: Romance Dawn.
Volume 61/Chapter 598: Romance Dawn for the new world.
A majority of the "From the Decks of the World" cover art. It's nice to know that Oda has left no major player forgotten, even upgrading their appearances and giving them more story substance, all within just one cover page.
One of the most endearing is the Chapter 622 art, which shows Kaya studying diligently while her beleaguered butler tries to hold off a huge posse of completely besotted Bishounen admirers. She ignores them all...and has a newspaper clipping that's pretty clearly the wanted poster of our favorite Cowardly Lion taped to her stack of medical textbooks. All together now: AWWWW. Mind, MANSOPP is hot enough to melt rocks now, so...
There's the final installation of the "From the Decks of the World" cover story which shows Ace and Whitebeard's graves where someone has brought the news of the Straw Hats' return, as if telling Ace that his brother is fine. To top it off, nearby, there's a bottle and three sake cups, Foreshadowing the even bigger heartwarming of Sabo being alive.
"Caribou's Kehihihihi in the New World" has a surprising one: Caribou, after proving to be an Ungrateful Bastard to the old lady who nursed him back to health and believed him to be her dead grandson, comes back and saves her and the village when Kaido's forces attack. Sure, he later ends up getting captured by X Drake, but it's still surprising and heartwarming to see such a bloodthirsty, Ax-Crazy man go out of his way to save someone he could've just as easily ditched. Overlaps with Tear Jerker when it's revealed that the old lady knew all along that Caribou wasn't really her grandson.
Once you realize how much the Straw Hats' lives changed after meeting Luffy and some of them having real friends for once, it makes you want to shed a tear.
When we found out that Ace was Roger's son and was not Luffy's biological brother, and yet he constantly referred to Luffy as his brother. He even told the other Straw Hats that having "a dumb little brother makes an older brother worry", just like what a real older brother would say.
Same with Luffy. He knew all along that Ace wasn't really his brother and still fought to the death to save Ace from Impel Down, calling him his brother the whole time, showing a steadfast admiration for his older brother, just like what a real younger brother would do.
It was a Filler leading to episodes of the Straw Hats reflecting on their own traumatic experiences and when they joined with Luffy because it shows that they sympathize and truly consider Robin to be a True Companion. Made better with the first opening theme tune "We Are", and the whole crew singing the lyrics.
In an SBS, we find out why Oda deserves the Creator Worship he gets. Someone asked Oda was asked what his treasure was. His answer? "My treasure? Of course, it's ALL YOU READERS."
Now there's the 15th opening. It's just heartwarming after the whole Whitebeard War deal, you see the crew training, never giving up. Readers who reached the end of the series' first will notice a bit of Fridge Brilliance at the very beginning of the opening.
The final opening before the time skip, Fight Together, has a brief segment in its second half that compiles each of the Straw Hats' most intimate moments with Luffy. These moments are delicately cropped from their original episodes and carefully framed, so to allow around fifty heartwarming shots, on average about 2 seconds apiece, in the space of thirty seconds.
To elaborate, these shots include many of the heartwarming moments above. Some are when members officially joined the crew, others are alike to the most famous of Enies Lobby and Arlong Park moments, such as that one scene on the Tower of Justice.
Finally, just before Luffy's about to take up his hat, we see him hesitate...and then someone steps behind him and gives him a gentle push towards the hat. Luffy turns in surprise, and for a moment, we see Ace standing there, giving him a reassuring nod. Then his ghost disappears. A bit of a Tear Jerker, but that Ace would show up in spirit to give Luffy assurance when he needed it most is truly the most heartwarming thing of all.
The One Piece Gigant Battle! 2 game has one in the "Brook's Stage" stage, where, if you don't choose any of the post-timeskip Straw Hats, the entire crew can be seen performing together in the background, which really shines a light at how united they are.
After the 2011 tsunami, the voice actors got together and made Messages of Encouragement for those affected by it. It goes from Luffy cheering for you to Brook telling you to live and be happy. It goes into slight tearjerker territory but in a good way.
The 16th OP. There's a moment where we see the silhouettes of the crew walking together, and then Luffy stretches his arms out around them all and pulls them in for a hug.
The ending for One Piece: Unlimited Adventure. The Straw Hats have defeated the demon sealed within the island, and prepare to set out. Before leaving, that creature Popora comes out, and the crew is worried that he'll be alone...until more creatures like Popora come out- the spirit of Popora's creator made them, to make for Popora's thousand years of loneliness. As Robin said...
"Indeed. Because no one...no matter who they are, is brought into this world to be alone."
In the "3D2Y" special, when Luffy uses his Red Hawk move for the first time, there's the part in which he realizes that the move, by causing his fist to get set on fire, is essentially channeling Ace's flames. This comes off as all the better when you consider how much Ace's death weighed on Luffy's mind for the last year and a half, and how he's using the move on a villain who tried to kill his own brother.