Dear God, where do we begin
with One Piece
Since most of the examples will have "Mother Sea" as their theme - AKA the "theme of Tear Jerkers in One Piece
" or "Tear Jerker in musical form" - play it while reading to intensify the effect.
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East Blue Saga
- East Blue Saga introduces us Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp and Sanji. Every single of them has a tragic backstory and three out of five flashbacks consists of losing a loved one. The other two involve sacrifice via dismemberment by a mentor figure for the sake of preserving the crew members' lives.
- ShuShu guarding his store, complete with flashbacks and such, while he's getting totally owned by a giant thingy ma-jig. Then, at the very end, he protects Luffy's escape and seems to have found one last treasure to protect. Bonus points for the fact that the episodes goes into ads with a dog's scream and a bunch of blood as he jumps to bite the trainer, leaving us to think that the dog died. However, the dog is still alive.
- The arc in Usopp's village is full of tear-jerkers. First, Usopp is unable to evacuate the village in the face of an imminent pirate attack, because he's a habitual liar. Then, his best friend Kaya turns against him when he tries to tell her about the attack and about Klahadore. Then, Merry is nearly killed and Kaya learns the truth in the worst way possible. She confronts Klahadore, and finds out that he never cared for her (this one brings Kaya to tears). Then there's the break-up of the Usopp Pirates (the author said, half-jokingly, that this part made him tear up). And then we have Usopp's flashback, to the death of his mother no less.
- At Arlong Park (aside from Nami bleeding and crying as she begs Luffy to help her, of course), Usopp pretending to be dead while fighting Chu, and realizing his own cowardice. This was one of Usopp's many steps into becoming a man and fighting for his friends.
- Speaking of, the scene where Nami finally asks for Luffy's help. Moments before, she found out that Arlong hired a corrupt naval officer to steal all the money she had worked for eight years to collect to buy back her village from him. He decided to do this when she had one voyage's worth of money left, just to hurt her more. And then, all the villagers, who she knew couldn't fight Arlong and live, gather to do just that, and she can't stop them from leaving. Finally, she just breaks down in the middle of that dusty road, completely helpless to do anything. She takes the knife she was holding and stabs herself in the shoulder, and rips it open to destroy her tattoo of Arlong's mark. Luffy stops her before she can do anything else, but it's still extremely painful to watch. Nami had just seen Arlong tear down every hope that she had in a single day.
- When the officer comes upon her cache of treasure, it is pointed out that a lot of it is covered in dirt and blood, indicating just what those eight years must have been like, in a way that is both subtle and not subtle at all.
- After Luffy miraculously escapes an execution attempt by Buggy the Clown in the very same spot that Gold Roger was executed 20 years prior, he and the Straw Hats race to the Going Merry to leave for the Grand Line. While Luffy is stopped by Captain Smoker of the Navy, Zoro is stopped by Tashigi, Smoker's second-in-command. Zoro remembers that Tashigi looks just like his childhood rival Kuina whom he wanted to beat at swordsmanship but died from an accident before their final match. Zoro easily beats Tashigi, who curses herself for being born as a woman and being weak; Zoro remembers this is the exact same quote that Kuina says after she beats him after their one-hundredth match. Zoro then tells Tashigi to get over herself and that she's only as strong as she allows herself to be and not use being born as a woman as an excuse to lose in a contest of skill. He then leaves her, telling her to get stronger if she wants to beat him.
Drum Island Arc
- Chopper's backstory was a sad tale. Aside from the abandonment from his own reindeer herd and the fear from humans who wouldn't accept him, his unwitting role in the death of Dr. Hiriluk, the man he had taken to as a father, makes it all the more painful. And what's sadder is the whole injustice of having to tolerate Wapol laughing his stupid head off, and not able to do a thing about it.
- Agreed - the whole thing with Dr. Hiriluk was heartbreaking. Especially his ending speech and thoughts:
"Hey... when do you think a man dies? Does he die when he's been shot? No. Does he die when he's ravaged with disease? No. Does he die when he's been poisoned? NO! A man dies when, and only when, he is FORGOTTEN! Even when I pass on, my dream will come true! The hearts of the people will be cured...! THIS HAS TRULY BEEN A WONDERFUL LIFE!"
- What he says before that.
"In a few moments a monster will come. He is my son."
- It is so much more powerful in the anime than in the manga, when you hear the sheer love and devotion in Hiruluk's voice as he speaks, and Ave Maria plays in the background...
- What will really have you in tears is when Chopper begs the only other remaining Dr. on the island to train him, this being just after she explained he served a poison mushroom to his father figure naively thinking it was some kind of miracle cure, insulting him for thinking something like an all purpose medicine could exist. Then he rushes back to her after Hiruluk dies, waving his flag as he pledges to become the all purpose medicine himself by being a doctor who can cure anything if only she'll teach him. Because promising to defy the impossible is a prerequisite for the Straw Hat Crew.
- It becomes a very happy tear jerker when you finally get to see all of Dr. Hiriluk's work pay off in the end: when Dr. Kureha fires Hiriluk's red powder as a sendoff to Chopper, it creates a giant pink snow cloud that covers the entire island. Chopper, watching from the ocean, sees the cloud combine with Wapol's mountain to create the splitting image of a cherry blossom tree.
- Not to mention Dalton's reaction to Hiriluk's words. He was crying at his words and was horrified at how Wapol was acting about the whole thing, and it lead to him becoming the man he is today. Man... it just shows how much of an influence that one man had on this entire island.
- Calgara gets shot into the sky with his entire tribe, is driven off of his land along with said tribe, and is denied the chance to signal his whereabouts to his friend. Meanwhile, Noland never finds out what happened to Calgara and others and is branded a liar for his inability to explain the disappearance of the golden city and executed. And as if that wasn't bad enough, his descendants are still being ridiculed after 400 friggin years.
- And the execution scene is the tear icing on the suffering cake: Noland is hopeless standing to be killed, the King calls strange men who have nothing to do with the story to testify against him, and his actual crew trying to defend him from the audience... for naught. Damn, that was just painful...
- Before Noland is about to be executed, he ponders about Calgara and hopes that he and the rest of the tribe are safe. We find out later that Calgara was killed in battle trying to retrieve the tribe's homeland from the Skypiea residents so that Noland would find find everyone as he left them once he returned. It gets more depressing once you realize unless they died at the same time, both of them are thinking about someone they don't know is already dead.
- And, while still on Jaya Arc, the defeat of Cricket and the "Monkey Brothers" by Bellamy, who steals the treasure they've nearly killed themselves to achieve. It's just sad after you realize how nice the guys actually are. To compensate, though, just after that we have massive awesomeness.
- When Pagaya pushes Conis, his daughter, out of the way of Eneru's lightning bolt as they are searching for the Straw Hats, taking the hit for her. And Conis's relieved reaction when she learns he survived.
- Captain McKinley (not the famous one) of the Skypiean White Beret security forces chooses to sacrifice himself to save his men and the evacuating people of Skypiea from Eneru's lightning storm.
- Everyone on Skypiea praying for God- the real God- to save them. This is after the people lose their faith and some of them are even willing to believe they have no God at all. Their prayers are ANSWERED. McKinley believes it's true proof of God existing.
- Then when Luffy finally defeats Eneru, and rings the bell, and Cricket hears its sound and realizes that Noland never lied after all.
- The Shandorian Chief's reaction when he learns the purpose of the Poneglyph of their kingdom has been served, and their civilization no longer has to fight to protect it.
- Similarly, Gan Fall's reaction to the bell, the Fire of Shandora tolling, signalling peace, and Wyper's reaction when he learns Montblanc Noland has a living descendant.
- Montblanc Cricket tearing up in joy when Luffy indisputably proves there was a land of gold... in the sky.
- The absolutely cute way Aisa clings to Laki after learning she's okay.
Water 7/Enies Lobby
- The Water 7 arc. The breaking of the Straw Hat crew: the abandoning of the Going Merry, the fight between Luffy and Usopp, and the apparent betrayal of Robin. Luffy's heartbroken reaction to all of these events and his fierce determination to keep his crew together despite the hardships really tugs at the ol' heartstrings!
- Water Seven introduces us Franky and his backstory, which is yet another tearjerker.
- Franky's flashback after he is set up by Spandam. Spandam uses Franky's pirate ships to attack Water 7's harbor and frame Tom so that he can be arrested, the result being Tom is seriously injured and handcuffed after the attack. When Franky tearfully renounces all of the ships that he made, stating that he never should have made them, Tom breaks free of his handcuffs and savagely beats Franky in front of everyone watching. Tom then tells Franky that a "Don" stands behind everything he creates and would never renounce any of his creations, regardless of what they are used for.
- Then when Franky tries in vain to stop the Puffing Tom with a bazooka, to prevent it carrying Tom to his execution, getting run over in the process:
Franky: Hey, Puffing Tom! Just where do you think you're taking your creator?! Stop, Puffing Tom!
- Enies Lobby is famous for two major tearjerkers, since Robin's past is finally revealed in detail and one of the Straw Hats dies.
- The Going Merry's death, set to one of the ending themes.
- That whole arc was bookended by Tear Jerkers, as it started with Usopp refusing to believe that Merry was truly beyond repair, and challenging Luffy for the rights to the ship. What makes it worse is afterwards, Zoro tells Luffy that as his captain, he cannot go back on his word or else he will leave the crew right then and there because Luffy must stand by his convictions and not allow others to step over him.
- Oh, but what about Robin's backstory? First shunned all her childhood, with her only friend, a giant, killed by marines while he tried to protect her, as well as every other person who was kind to her — then having the entire incident blamed on her, forcing her to live on the run for the rest of her life. The aftermath, during the Enies Lobby arc, was almost just as bad.
- "I WANT TO LIVE! TAKE ME OUT TO SEA WITH YOU AGAIN!!"
- Robin's bittersweet reunion with her mother which began with Olvia trying to protect Robin by denying that they were related:
Robin: Are you my mother?!
Olvia(thinking): Forgive me Robin! I don't want you to be the daughter of a criminal.
Olvia(speaking): I'm sorry. I think you've got the wrong person.
Robin: I-I'm Robin! I've grown...but don't you remember me? I've been waiting for your return! Are you really not my mother? Someday...I want to hold your hand...and walk with you... I-I've studied so hard...and I've become an archeologist! I can read Poneglyphs too! So...please let me be with you, mom! Don't leave me alone anymore!
- Robin's last talk with Saul.
Saul: The sea is vast, Robin! Somewhere out there, there's friends who will protect you! Find them! Befriend them! Travel with them! Simply existing can NOT BE A SIN!
- After Kaku is defeated by Zoro, he flashes back the memories of him being a carpenter at Water 7 followed by the memory of Paulie yelling "I saw you guys as my Nakama!". He then has a look of regret of his face and says that people say that an assassin can have no other job. Then he honorably gives Zoro the key.
- Gomorrah and Sodom. They rampage through Enies Lobby to get the Franky Family and Straw hats to the center. Sodom is shot by a mortar shell but tearfully begs the others, through Chopper's interpretation, to go on without him, and Gomorrah is taken down soon afterward by cannon fire. However Gomorrah, fueled by memories of Franky taking him and Sodom in and looking out for the two, manages to summon up his last ounce of strength. Gomorrah recklessly began to hit a building and had claimed to be blind due to damaging his retina in the battle, as Chopper told the crew through his translation. Still however, he charges through the field and crashes through the Enies Lobby courthouse's courtyard before finally passing out from the pain.
- The overjoyed look of serenity that washes over Robin's face when she learns Luffy has defeated Rob Lucci. She immediately gets Tears of Joy. And it took a veritable malestrom of punches to get there.
- Another heartwarming tear jerker is Usopp's apology. At first, he desperately tries to convince his crew to let him back in, but Luffy pretends he doesn't hear anything. Only after he screams how sorry he is from the bottom of his heart does the crew accept him back, crying Tears of Joy.
Thriller Bark Arc
- Not too far afterwards, the backstory for Brook, involving the long-past Laboon and a particularly sad flashback is heartbreaking.
- For a moment Brook hallucinates that his crew is alive and it was all a nightmare, after sobbing about how happy he was into the deck he looks up... And sees the empty ship. Despite being a skeleton, the look on his face is heartbreaking.
- Let us not forget Yorki either. Oh, Yorki. Anyone else notice that Brook, who wept openly plenty of times beforehand, is never shown crying in front of his crew again after the last scene with Yorki and his own tragic "promotion"? At least, not while they're alive...
- And of course, recently we've had the deaths of the zombies.
- The very end of the arc, when Zoro is alone with Batholomew Kuma following Moria's defeat. Kuma, intent on killing everyone who survived, makes an agreement with Zoro; Zoro wanting to do whatever he can to keep everyone alive, agrees to embrace the physical manifestation of ALL of Luffy's pain. Kuma let Zoro sample a small piece of it, which resulted in Zoro nearly collapsing from the intensity; Kuma then allows Zoro to embrace a HUGE ball of it in order for him to spare everyone's life. When Sanji finds Zoro after the decision, Zoro is seen standing in a huge pool of blood, he himself barely conscious with his arms crossed and his eyes bloodshot and unable to move.
- Bon Kurei fleeing the fight with Magellan while tearfully apologizing to Luffy.
- Part of the Impel Down arc after Luffy spent over 18 hours in excruciating agony after being poisoned by Magellan and going through an incredibly painful healing process that would save him but would take ten years of his life, he finally gets to Level 6 where his brother was being held only to find an empty cell. Ace's pained reaction to his brother's foolhardy attempt to save him is equally heart-wrenching given the fact that he already blames himself for the fact that his beloved captain is being drawn out for an ultimate battle with the entire World Government due to his imminent execution.
- Luffy reaching Ace's prison, fighting his way down to get to Ace, almost dying in the process, only to find the empty cage, is quite heartbreaking. Then, we see Ace several floors up, hearing Luffy's voice, trying to get to his brother, screaming Luffy's name, only to have Magellan stop him. Granted, it was expected, but it still hurts.
- Chapter 548, "Thank You".
- Dear god, chapter 582. Luffy has awakened, and the first thing we see him do is run into the jungle, smashing everything in sight, remembering Ace's last minutes. He starts screaming in anguish at his memories: "STOP! DISAPPEAR!" Jimbei walks over to Luffy, who confirms Ace's death. Luffy's resultant crying is so much, even Jimbei begins to sob. If this weren't enough, now we're starting a flashback to the first time Luffy and Ace met.
- Gets worse if you have a moment of Fridge Brilliance. The reason Luffy's reaction is such isn't just because of Ace's death, but that over the course of a week, he has lost close to everything that matters to him. He failed to protect his friends, and must've hoped that he could at least save family. Ace dying has pushed him over the edge.
- Actually, if you stop and think about the backstory for a second, it actually becomes even sadder, if possible. After the recent flashbacks, think about what Luffy and Ace went through. For each of his nakama, everyone bonded by fighting and believing in one another, which mirrors Luffy, Ace, and Sabo's meeting and becoming brothers. So, their bond is just as strong as any between Luffy and his crew. But then, you have to compound onto that, the extra layer from Sabo's (ultimately apparent) death and how long Luffy and Ace have been together. Ten years. Ten years Luffy had no other friends his age, really had no one else he was close to the same way he clung to Ace. And Ace's promise to live so that Luffy wouldn't suffer again, the sheer crushing pain Luffy must feel over not only losing Sabo (until few ago, but also Ace, when he swore that he wouldn't let that happen again. It's like, reading a hot-blooded shounen manga to the end only to watch the hero lose his best friend. And then, said hero pulls himself together to go on one more adventure and make a new best friend, only for it to happen again.
- Chapter 588: Dammit Oda! And right in the middle of his CMOA!
- To clarify, Sabo managed to once again escape from his family's house in order to set sail as a pirate. The problem? His little boat cuts in front of the ship of a World Noble, who promptly shoots at him, killing him. As if we needed a reminder just how much of an asshole the World Nobles can be... Even when Sabo is MUCH later shown to have survived.
- Chapter 589: In-universe example of Harsher in Hindsight. Turns out, Luffy was motivated by Sabo's (ultimately apparent) death to get stronger, so that no one else will disappear. Then you consider what's happened to him in the present day...
- And how for the first time, Luffy has truly questioned his dreams and strength.
- "I'M WEAK!!!". That's all that need to be said.
- Quite a bit of Chapter 590: Dadan lashing out at Garp for letting Ace die, Ace and Whitebeard's funeral, and Jinbei forcefully reminding Luffy about his crewmates.
You still haven't lost everything yet! Now affirm it! You have not been left with nothing! Luffy: I HAVE MY CREW!
- This chapter gets extra Tear Jerker points for Dadan's painful outburst since it seemed to be the point when everything finally settles in. And it's even worse in the anime.
- It finally hits Makino that Ace is dead and Luffy is suffering alone. That is all.
- The anime (episode 505) really brings it home as Jinbei (after a brief fight) talks sense into Luffy and asks what he still has. A tearful Luffy looks down at his hands...and starts counting his friends on his fingers.
Don't bother me while I'm training!
Let everyone know a storm is coming!
You won't believe the size of the fish I'll catch today!
Calm down, dinner will be ready soon.
If you get hurt, you're in good hands!
I can teach you about archaeology if you want.
The cola engines are in great condition! The Sunny is in SUPER shape! *pose*
Luffy-san, what will your first song be for today?
......I HAVE MY NAKAMA!
- The reactions from all the other Straw Hats when they hear what Luffy has gone through, especially Usopp and Nami:
Usopp: " Luffy lost his older brother...in a war! Do you know how much pain he's feeling right now?! I have to be with him to see him through his pain...or else I can't call myself a member of his crew!"
Nami: " He lost Ace right before his own eyes. And I had no idea that was happening! I want to hurry and be there for him before he breaks apart!"
Later: "Luffy...you're OK, right? I'm sorry! You've always been there for us...And then, when it was our turn, we..."
- Made worse if you consider why they had the most intense reactions to finding out about what happened to Luffy. some other stuff. In the past, Usopp and Nami have suffered from complexes about being a couple weaker crew members, and worried about not being able to protect the others, likely namely Luffy due to being closer to him than the others and because of how much he had persevered and sacrificed so much for them and everyone else. Also, they were both already deeply worried about Luffy before the crew got separated: Usopp was worried about Luffy hurting himself with his fighting style, and Nami was worried about whether Luffy was okay with the possibility of Ace being in trouble. (which she has a flashback of). The sense of helplessness, self-hatred, self-blame, and guilt Usopp and Nami are going through must be unimaginable.
- Not to mention both know what it's like to lose someone in front of your eyes.
- Nami's scenario goes from funny to tearjerker back to funny BACK to tearjerker within a few pages. When she's imprisoned for stealing technology, she's joking about how she's an ex-thief and a pirate and they somehow DIDN'T see that coming. Then she's on her knees begging for her release, tears in her eyes as she tells them about Luffy's plight and how she needs to go to him and be there for him. Then they release her and she's all "KTHXBYE!" as she runs off with all the tech she swiped, dragging Haredas along with her. At that point, the reader is all "oh, that Nami"...then Haredas notices that her "fake crying" hasn't stopped. *sob*
- The anime does it justice, too. She even visibly blushes when Haredas comments on her still "pretending to cry".
- Anime: Zoro finding out about Luffy losing his brother Ace. Look carefully at Zoro's eyes during a close up; the man was on the verge of tears.
- Anime episode 512: In a very brief scene Dadan and her family of bandits goes to Luffy, Ace, and Sabo's old tree-house. In tears, she holds up a newspaper with Luffy's recent invasion of Marineford and she calls to Ace saying how he succeeded in saving his brother's life. After a few more tears she tells Ace to rest in peace. The scene was very unexpected with the more happier episodes as of late and it really hit the heartstrings hard.
- Luffy returning to Marineford to ring the bell for the new era and leaving flowers on the battleground. The picture of him standing there, head down, hat on heart is just so touching.
Return to Sabaody
- In-universe example, post time skip: Silvers Rayleigh when Luffy declares he's gonna be the Pirate King.
- In chapter 603, Kuma. His last act of free will was to command his new self to protect the Thousand Sunny until one of the Straw Hats returned to reclaim the ship. Kuma keeps to that promise, keeping the Sunny spotless while he himself is heavily damaged, to the point he's all bloody and his machine parts are showing when Franky sees him. Also, right after Franky arrived? All Kuma had to say was "Mission Complete", and he leaves limping.
- Also in Chapter 603 Rayleigh remembering Roger the First Time they meet and how much he looked like Luffy, specially the straw hat it mark how much it pain him the lost of his captain and best friend even after 20 years and why always got tear eyed every time he meet Luffy or he proclaimed that he would become the Pirate King.
Fishman Island Arc
Punk Hazard Arc
- The revelation that Dr. Vegapunk conducted scientific and medical experiments on prisoners. It's Harsher in Hindsight when you realize that these types of experiments actually happened in real life with Unit 731 and the Holocaust.
- Learning that the kids on the island have been forcibly addicted to a medical drug to keep them from running away, and the bigger ones will go berserk if they aren't given their daily dose. Chopper is understandably angry..
- You have to feel sorry for Brownbeard. After losing the use of his legs, he came to Punk Hazard and Caesar Clown took him in, gave him new legs and put him in charge of the centaur patrol. Naturally, he's upset when he discovers his master has ordered his execution for being captured. In fact, his last moments before being shot were remembering his master's kindness right before calling out to him.
- Chapter 668's cover spread. It's Ace and Whitebeard's graves, two years later.
- The opening pages of chapter 673: Seeing those parents screaming for help finding their missing children, not believing they died in "accidents" and how the Marine commander threatened to kill them if they didn't leave him be. It gets even worse when you remember that some of these parents have been in this situation for years, and even worse when you realize that children getting kidnapped, with their whereabouts unknown, is very sadly Truth in Television.
- Also from chapter 673: The giant children in a drug-craving mode, attacking the Straw Hats and screaming in joy when Caesar arrives. The effects of this drug are horrifying.
- Chapter 679. G-5 marines, basically thugs and cannon fodder by One Piece's New World standards, sacrificed themselves to make sure Tashigi got safely behind the closing silo door and is protected from the deadly gas that petrifies a person into a solid, almost nuke-blasted shell. They all give a thumbs up to show they are satisfied with their choice, and are now petrified in various poses of jubilation. This also counts as a heartwarming moment because it shows how much they care for their captain, but it's still very sad, and Tashigi's horrified expression only makes it sadder.
- Chapter 680: The Marines get brutally curb-stomped by Vergo. What makes it sad is that they believed Vergo was actually a very nice guy, who cared for them even though they're just "a bunch of good-for-nothings", and are so shocked to see him attacking them right now that they believe he's an impostor. Tashigi also tries to stop him, but is easily thrown aside, and can't stop crying over her men getting slaughtered.
- Chapter 679 just made it worse in retrospect. Vergo, thought to be the most noble of G-5, is the real "good-for-nothing" Jerkass of a pirate, and is likely to get off scott free. Yet those self-proclaimed "good-for-nothings" have proven they're anything but, yet they're the ones getting mowed down.
- Which makes Law cutting Vergo in half in chapter 690 all the more satisfying.
- Momonosuke's flashback in Chapter 685, in a way, because of how oblivious to the truth and innocent the children are. It's even harsher if you compare it to present day, where the withdrawal symptoms left most of them as mindless, candy-craving zombies.
- Chapter 688 gives us the children's flashback. Just after Mocha ate the drug-filled candy to prevent her friends from eating it (Which is already a tear jerker in itself), Chopper has a flashback to when he revealed the truth about Caesar and the candy to her. She remembered the promise she made to her friends about how they were all going to go out to sea and meet each other again when they were adults, and starts to cry because she realizes she will not be able to keep this promise if she stays there. After Chopper promises to her that they will save them and Luffy will kick Caesar's ass, cut to present time, with Mocha writhing on the ground in pain from eating this damn candy.
- In chapter 692, it's revealed that Kinemon was petrified trying to find his son. OK, he doesn't die, but still, he is thought to be dead at that point.
- And following that, we have poor Momonosuke's absolutely distraught reaction to the above in the following chapter.
- Chapter 697: The lower G-5 Marines prevent the children from saying goodbye to the Straw Hats, and keep badmouthing the crew while praising the Marines. As the situation builds up, both Marines and children alike start to cry, until Tashigi breaks down and tells her men to stop, saying it is disgraceful. It turns into a happy tear jerker when the Marines reveal that they only badmouth the Straw Hats because if they don't, they'll start admiring and respecting them, even though they're pirates. They then break down in tears as Smoker Face Palms and Tashigi laughs.
- Chapter 700: It's revealed that Doflamingo has Ace's devil fruit, completely aware of what Luffy would do if he found out about it and plans to exploit it.
- Chapter 711: Even though at that point, we know nothing about what causes this, seeing Rebecca break down in tears at the mere sight of the Thunderous Soldier or Rage, express her will to win the tournament and live with him, and the Soldier himself being unable to cry back, is surprisingly hard to watch.
" Even toys have things they want to protect. But tears won't fall from these tin eyes..."
- Chapter 714: Ucy was only up for a couple pages, but he was so incredibly happy during that time, and had such a great chemistry with Luffy, that seeing him splattered by a giant hurt more than a little.
- Chapter 717: How the "toys" are created at Dressrosa: they were once humans, victims of a devil fruit user from Doflamingo's crew. Not only do they lose their bodies, but their human lives disappear from the memories of the ones close to them. Once turned into toys, they can't live with their familly anymore, since it's forbidden for humans and toys to be in the same home. And if they panic and try to force the truth on their loved ones, they are simply disposed of as defective toys.
- In Chapter 719, we finally learn why Don Chinjao has a grudge against Garp. Chinjao's head was once shaped like a drill and was hard enough for his head-slam Signature Move to deliver enough force to crack an otherwise-unbreakable mountain of ice that was covering his clan's massive horde of hidden treasures. During a battle with Garp, his head was smashed downward, not only robbing him of his Signature Move, but making him powerless to get to his treasure. Fortunately, for him, an attack from Luffy undid the damage to his head.
- In Chapter 721, the reason why Rebecca told Luffy that she doesn't get hungry. She and her mom, Scarlett, are being hunted down by Doflamingo's men, so they could not enter the city or anyplace because Doflamingo's men would be there. When Rebecca told Scarlett that she's hungry, she went out to look for food, but later on, Thunder Soldier comes back to Rebecca holding Scarlett's corpse (who he fails to protect) and was told by Scarlett to give Rebecca the food she wanted. This made Rebecca extremely guilty for getting her mom killed because she was hungry.
- Also, the crowd in the coliseum booing and jeering Rebecca because she's the granddaughter of the previous king of Dressrosa who everybody hates. This angers Luffy because she spent all her money to buy him food and he forgave her for trying to kill him.
- Luffy isn't just angry on Rebecca's behalf because of what she did for him, it's also how completely unfair it is that Rebecca is being hated for something that is absolutely and completely not her fault.
- Chapters 727 and 728, which describe the backstory of the Riku kingdom. Doflamingo appeared before the current King Riku and threatened to conquer the peaceful nation unless he was given 10 billion beli, which the king doesn't have, by the next night. He also commands that King Riku not tell anyone about the demand or ask for help from other countries. The king sends out his soldiers to collect the funds from the kingdom's people and he publicly begs for the citizens' support, even falling to his knees and begging them. The people of the Riku kingdom decide to trust their king has a good reason for his request and begin handing over the money. Then, Doflamingo uses his powers to force the king and his army to begin slaughtering the civilians, all to destroy the king's credibility. You see the civilians, mourning over their loved ones (some of whom are clearly children), coming to loathe Riku. The latter even begs for someone to kill him, as he'd rather die than murder his own people.
- Chapter 731, in-universe: Luffy's bawling his eyes out after meeting someone who is heavily hinted to be his long-lost thought-dead childhood friend/sworn older brother Sabo.
- In chapter 739: we're treated to a flashback showing Rebecca, the gladiators, and the Thunder Soldier enraged over the fact that Doflamingo didn't really resigne from his title as Shichibukai. This is the last straw for Rebecca, who announces to the Soldier her intention to enter the tournament so she can have a chance of taking out Doflamingo with the power of the Flame Flame Fruit. This leads to a heated argument between the two, during which Rebecca states that he's not her father, and just a one-legged toy. She immediately realizes she went too far, but the hurt Soldier still leaves, saying he lectured Rebecca too much, and praying she doesn't participate. Worse still is how he ignores her as she's tearfully screaming at him to stay. Even knowing how they patched things up afterwards, it's still painful to see the Soldier hurt like this, and Rebecca herself feeling so guilty and ashamed of what her anger made her say.
- This one gets even worse when you remember he really IS her father.
- Chapter 741-742 shows us Kyros the Gladiator/Toy Soldier's past. Boy, the guy had a troubled life.
Toy Soldier: With these tin arms, I can't even feel the warmth of your dying body.
- Chapter 751: Sabo proclaims to Fujitora that if Luffy were to ever ask for his help, he would be at his side in an instant. Then there is a brief panel showing his reaction to Ace's death. He lost one brother; he won't lose his baby brother as well.
- Even Fujitora seems to show sympathy to his misfortune.
- How Bellamy has been treated by Doflamingo. Seriously, you'd never think you'd actually feel sorry for him, but then Doflamingo pratically beats him to near death, he spends most of Luffy's confrontation with Doflamingo face-down on the ground, and when Doflamingo uses his powers to control Bellamy into fighting you can see how utterly crushed the guy is that his idol was such a dick to him, and that he's actually moved that Luffy cares enough NOT to hit him.
- One Piece 762: Trafalgar Law once lived in a place called The White City that was highly prosperous for 100 years...because the foundation of its wealth was based on a metal called "amber lead". Like normal lead it is poisonous, but the effects build up over the course of generations - each later generations lives twenty years shorter than the previous one. Because of this generational off-set, the poison's effects hit all generations at roughly the same time. Surrounding countries thought it was contagious, so a war broke out that eventually destroyed the city. Law's parents, his little sister, and everyone he knew died, and he only survived and snuck out of the quarantine because he hid in a pile of corpses. The really sickening part is that the government and the White City's rulers knew about it and could have stopped it, but chose to hide this from the populace to stay rich. Then they ditched the City when things got rough. Dear Gods, no wonder Law was so messed up as a kid.
- Even Doflamingo's crew is sickened with what happened there; Baby-5, who had expressed open dislike of Law ever since he joined up, is actually driven to tears after she hears what he went through.
- One Piece 763: You know Doflamingo's supposed sob story? He was lying. It was actually much worse. After his family left Marijoles, it didn't take long for the people on the island they set up their new home on to find out they were former World Nobles (not helped by Dolflamingo acting like a Spoiled Brat). They then went on an insane witch-hunt and burned their house down, forcing the family to move from place to place in squalor until his mother died from sickness and exhaustion. His father begged the Celestial Dragons to let his sons return to their status just so they wouldn't have to suffer anymore but they flatly refused. The mob then found the family and tortured them even after the father begged them to spare his sons and take it out on him. The experience was so traumatic that Dolflamingo still had nightmares about it even as an adult. The fact that he intentionally left that part out of his Motive Rant really shows how deeply it affected him. Jesus Christ, no wonder the guy's the way he is.
- Chapter 764: Corazon/Rocinante kidnaps Law, in an attempt to find a cure to Law's illness. Over the course of 6 months, they go to countless hospitals and not one hospital will even examine Law, much less heal him. And in every instance, Corazon/Rocinante actually destroys the hospital in fury (while Law tearfully tells him each time to just give up on him). The crying at the end really drives it all home just how hopeless Law's situation was.
- Chapter 766: Corazon TRIES to put on a brave face for Law, having been shot multiple times. He gives Law his devil fruit, and Law tries to do something to use it's medical ability to help Corazon... and nothing, nada, zip, because devil fruit abilites don't work like that. So Corazon, not wanting Law to worry too much about the fact he's basically bleeding to death, gives Law a little message to deliver to the marine spy network to hopefully stop Doflamingo's plans a little... and the first marine Law runs into? Vergo. And Law actually takes him to Corazon, not knowing who Vergo is and that Vergo is going to beat the living hell out of Corazon some more for leaking intel to the marines.
- Chapter 767: Reading this chapter is like being surrounded by a bunch of invisible, onion-cutting ninjas.
- Doflamingo's and Rocinante's father's death. He held his young son in front of him while his other son put a gun in his head from behind. And he apologized to both of them that he couldn't be a better father.
- Rocinante's death. Even without Oda's superb artwork that made this moment incredibly painful, Rocinante's death invoked so many death trope and everyone of them was masterfully utilized by Oda:
- Doflamingo is a remorseless, sadistic killer and before his confrontation with Rocinante, he had murdered dozens of people with his Bird Cage technique in this chapter alone. He derives no pleasure from shooting his brother and is visibly rattled after he does it.
- At the end of the chapter, Walking away from his hiding place, Law bawls his eyes out as he recalls the memories he shares with Rocinante, with the Doflamingo pirates behind him being none the wiser because Rocinante's Silence power protected Law from being heard - the very power that Law once called useless and uncool. As he gets further away, his voice starts to gain sounds as Rocinante finally dies, but it's drowned amidst the ensuing chaos between the marines and the pirates. And probably your bawling too.
- Chapter 769: Everything having to do with Bellamy, full stop. Even after Doflamingo grants a rare act of mercy by freeing him from his control, Bellamy still intends to fight Luffy. But instead of being an arrogant prick like he was two years ago, this time he does it because he can't bring himself to lash out against his idol, even after the repeated betrayals he's suffered. He even admits that he's admired the wrong man, but still pushes his body to its limits to perform Spring Hopper, practically begging Luffy to fight him one last time.
- Chapter 771: Baby 5's backstory was fully explored. She was abandoned at a very young age and her mother last words to her was "You're useless. No one needs you.". This had a profound effect on her mentality later in life. This made the Running Gag of her easily falling in love Harsher in Hindsight, as she practically thought of herself as useless all her adult life, and even simple acts of kindness could move her greatly. She was even willing to kill herself because Sai said defeating Doflamingo and his minions would make him happy, and she wanted to make him happy.
- On that note, Lao G asserts that her Extreme Doormat tendencies made her a "convenient" crew mate. Her own comrade ultimately regarded her as a tool. You can see the heartbreak on Baby 5's face when she hears that.
- What makes Baby 5's backstory particularly painful is the fact that what she is suffering from is essentially a real-life disorder referred to as Helper Syndrome. While the actions that result from that may (in her case) often be ridiculous, the fact that all of them are very much grounded in reality makes her suffering particularly heartwrenching.
- Chapter 774 has a literal one: It turns out that Princess Mansherry not only was held captive by Doflamingo, but also forced to heal his injured underlings over and over again (using her tears). The fact that one of the most adorable and good-hearted inhabitants of Dressrosa (even for Tontatta standards) was forced to uphold his empire of evil is most certainly tearjerking.
- Movie 6. Though it combines a heavy dose of horror, one scene is also a heavy Tear Jerker. During the scene where the Straw Hats are absorbed one by one into the giant flower while the villain casually announces their deaths, while pinning Luffy to a rock and asking him doesn't he want to save his friends? Luffy starts to break down as he thinks everyone is dead. His reaction to Zoro's apparent death is the worst. Then after he's freed and taken into hiding, he has his Heroic BSOD, only snapping out of it when he hears from one character that his crew is still alive and calling out for him. The ending also brings on the tears of joy.
- Also in movie 6, it's revealed that the Baron killed Brief's entire crew in front of him. After Brief states that Luffy is not alone,and that he is his nakama, the Baron makes fun of him, asking Luffy "Why would you let such a pathetic insect be your nakama?" while attacking him. Luffy saves him, and yells "I told you I wouldn't let you hurt my nakama!" then gives Brief the tobihige salute. Brief bursts into tears while returning the salute. Considering he's been alone on that island for a long time (he build a huge underground system on the whole island!) this is probably the first time he's had any nakama since his crew was killed.
- The ending of Movie Z, in which the Big Bad of the movie, Zephyr, stands alone against a rather massive Marine force lead by Kizaru while Ain bangs helplessly against the ice wall made by Kuzan to block the marines from Ain, Binz, and the Straw Hats and give Zephyr, in his own words, a place to die. It then goes into a flashback of a younger, more idealistic Zephyr standing against bullies with a log tied to his arm as a weapon, a helmet with a stylized Z on the front, and a cape.
- The Marines apparently found it a Tearjerker too, as at least one was shown to tear up as they faced the man who trained them.