Tropes A to B (Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole, Arc Villain, Berserk Button, Big Brother Instinct, Bowdlerise) | Tropes C to D (Call-Back, Chekhovs Gun, Cliffhanger, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Deconstructed Character Archetype) | Tropes E to F (Famous Last Words, Foreshadowing) | Tropes G to J | Tropes K to M (Laser-Guided Karma, Moral Myopia) | Tropes N to P (Oh, Crap!, O.O.C. Is Serious Business) | Tropes Q to S (Referenced By, Shout-Out, Superpower Lottery, Surprisingly Realistic Outcome) | Tropes T to Z (Wham Episode, Wham Line)
There's a saying in the One Piece fandom: Oda never forgets. Eiichiro Oda is known for incorporating elements that he set up many years—by now, even decades—before in the story. He loves them even more than he loves Inelegant Blubbering.
The examples on this page are just the tip of the iceberg.
- The first chapter is titled "Romance Dawn". The 601st chapter, which features the Straw Hats finally sailing into the New World, is titled "Romance Dawn for the New World". Continued in the title page for that chapter — which is based on the title page of Chapter 1 — and taken even further with the cover art for the volume containing that chapter being based on the cover art of the first volume, but with the current roster of Straw Hat Pirates.
- In Chapter 1, Luffy is kidnapped by the bandit Higuma and then almost killed by a Sea King, only to be saved by Shanks. We then see him grow up and use his Gum-Gum Pistol to defeat the Sea King in one hit. Five hundred and twelve chapters later, the Straw Hat crew is effortlessly defeated and scattered by the Pacifista Kuma. After the two year time-skip, in Chapter 601, Luffy defeats a Pacifista in one hit with his Gum-Gum Jet Pistol.
- The most impressive example is Silvers Rayleigh, who showed up in two panels in a flashback during Chapter 19, just long enough to establish that he was an officer in the crew Buggy and Shanks apprenticed on. Exactly four hundred eighty-one chapters later, Rayleigh — a lot older but still easily recognizable as the same guy from the flashback — is introduced as the Right Hand of the Pirate King Gold Roger, meets our heroes, and provides them with an incredibly important Myth Arc-changing revelation.
- The victory party the Straw Hat Pirates, Shandorians, and Skypieans throw after Eneru's defeat is the exact same as the one thrown earlier in Upper Yard.
- When Luffy fights Aokiji for the first time, he tries to beat him the same way he did Crocodile: by kicking him up into the air and using Gum-Gum Storm.
- Koby, a timid boy who was Luffy's very first companion, parts ways with him after the first story arc. Much, much later he returns, having grown into a brave and powerful young Marine in the meantime. The two remain good friends despite being on opposite sides of the law.
- Remember Ace's goofy misspelled tattoo (ASCE with the S crossed out)? Four-hundred-something chapters later it's revealed that it's actually a tribute to his fallen brother Sabo, who used a crossed-out S as his pirate flag and signature.
- As of Chapter 619, we've got a new second place for longest distance between first and second appearance (although that said, it's more like a reminder than anything else). A certain character is mentioned by name by Yosaku, who state that he is responsible for sending Arlong into the East Blue, and never mentioned again. Flash forward 454 chapters, and we meet a kind, easygoing character who almost immediately joins with Luffy to rescue Ace and becomes one of his most powerful allies. The character: Jimbei.
- There may be a new title holder, at a whopping five-hundred-ninety-one chapters. In Chapter 51, Mihawk mocks Zoro during their duel. In Chapter 642, Zoro mocks Hyouzou of the New Fish-Man Pirates.Dracule Mihawk (drawing his smallest sword on Zoro): I'm not dumb enough to use everything I have to hunt a rabbit.
Roronoa Zoro (cutting all of Hyouzou's swords): And I even gave you a chance to escape my barrier! Now go bring me the strongest swordsman on Fish-Man Island! You want to kill me?! You couldn't even kill my boredom!!!
- Mihawk's introduction had him cutting Don Krieg's flagship, a massive galleon, in thirds. Now, five-hundred-fifty chapters later, what's the first thing Zoro does when we're reintroduced to him? Cutting a massive galleon in half.
- Mihawk used a dagger during his first duel with Zoro in Chapter 49. Then in Chapter 909, Zoro used a tanto (a dagger for seppuku to cut down an evil magistrate... and the building he's in.
- Shortly after his post-Time Skip reintroduction, Zoro got lost and boarded a pirate ship instead of the fishing boat he was supposed to board. This is also how Koby ended up stuck on Alvida's ship
- In Chapter 646, Zoro even throws Mihawk's line about the frog in the well at Hyouzou.
- In Chapter 101, we are shown the dangers of the Calm Belt. Namely: being home to massive Sea Kings. In Chapter 647, Shirahoshi calls those exact same Sea Kings.
- In the very same chapter (101) we are shown the huge mountainous whale Laboon, who's rammed his head into the red line for 50 years waiting for his comrades to return. Three-hundred-fifty-eight chapters later it is revealed that Brook is the last survivor (although he's dead) of Laboon's comrades
- A particularly hilarious Brick Joke that spans 532 chapters: In Chapter 73, we're introduced to Mohmoo, a Sea King belonging to Arlong that got beaten up by Luffy and Sanji. Fast forward to Chapter 604, Caribou plans on using a Sea King against the Straw Hats. Guess which Sea King was used...
- At the beginning of Chapter 69, Luffy mentions that Zeff told him that for some people, the Grand Line is "paradise." At the end of Chapter 594, we learn that "Paradise" is the name given to the first half of the Grand Line by anyone who's visited the New World.
- Zoro's zombie does a call-back to his first duel with Mihawk:Zoro: A scar on the back is a swordsman's shame.
- In the very first chapter, Luffy orders some food and promises to pay back later when he finds treasure. He uses the same excuse in Chapter 585, leaving a note behind as he and his brothers dine-and-dash.
- In the Alabasta Arc, Crocodile captures Luffy, some of his crew, and then-Commander Smoker. In Chapter 673 (roughly 500 chapters later), another evil organization is holding Luffy's crew and Smoker in a cage. Robin even references this nostalgic fact, as she was the one helping Crocodile hold them back in Alabasta.
- Chapter 674. A darker example than most. The giant children are hallucinating, and among those hallucinations are... a giant snake and zombies, both of which the Straw Hats have encountered.
- Chapter 713 features a comparatively minor callback to the Skypiea saga; an otherwise forbidden kingdom that Usopp and Robin find themselves in hails Montblanc Noland, an explorer who befriended the Shandorians before Jaya was shot into the sky, as an ancient hero. Master liar Usopp buys their lives by persuading them that Noland is his ancestor.
- The cover of Chapter 668 shows Ace and Whitebeard's graves, two years later. Curiously, if you look closely, there is a crate in front of Ace's grave that has a sake bottle and a couple of sake cups on top. Fast forward to Chapter 731, where the last page has close up of the three sake cups in front of the grave, implying — and in Chapter 744, confirming — that yes, the man that replaced Luffy as "Lucy" is the long-thought dead Sabo.
- On a much sadder note, in Chapter 779 there is Luffy's second fight with Bellamy. The dialogue was quite similar, as it had Bellamy insulting and mocking Luffy in order to get him to fight, asking if he remembers "how to throw a punch" and saying "Farewell, Straw Hat!" while going for the final attack, only to once again be stopped with a single punch.
- In Chapter 159 Ace asks the Straw Hat crew to take care of his little brother, though he may be a handful, in Chapter 794 (635 chapters later) Sabo, Luffy's remaining brother asks the same thing to the Straw Hat crew, It's even lampshaded by Zoro.
- In Chapter 126, Zoro defeats Mr. 5 with swords that are aflame due to Usopp rescuing him from Mr. 3's Candle Service. 546 Chapters later in Chapter 672 it's revealed that Kin'emon uses swords along with a technique that can both cut and generate flames.
- Chapter 22 introduced Gaimon, a hermit whose body is trapped inside a treasure chest. Chapter 620 shows him along a barrel woman called Sarfunkel, thus making the pair a spoonerism of Simon & Garfunkel.
- A minor one in Chapter 997, where Zoro cuts down Queen's gatling gun, preventing the spread of the ice oni virus and shouting at him that he's not here to play around. The entirety of Onigashima is hit by an earthquake not a second later, mistakenly thought to be provoked by his rage. Brook freaks, believing it to be a result of Conqueror's Haki. Zoro denies having the Colors of the Supreme King, telling Brook he should know better. Come Chapter 1010, where it is revealed that while Zoro was indeed not responsible for the earthquake itself, he actually does have Conqueror's Haki after all, shown when he is able to cut past Kaido's haki-bolstered defenses and leave a wound deep enough to scar.
- During the height of the Thriller Bark arc Brook serves as a commentator on the Ryuma vs. Zoro fight, pointing out that the two utilize the same kind of techniques and have the same kind of build as swordsmen, among other qualities that put them head to head. In Chapter 1023, Kawamatsu the Kappa remarks on the eerie similarities Zoro bears with Ryuma and his direct descendant: Shimotsuki Ushimaru, the former daimyo of Ringo. The chapter's art even shows that Zoro not only bears a strong physical resemblance to both men, he is in fact the splitting image of Ryuma, down to the fact that both were missing an eye, very heavily implying that Zoro might be the reincarnation of Ryuma himself or that he has a familial tie to the Shimotsuki clan.