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Characters / One Piece: Roronoa Zoro

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Main Character Index > Straw Hat Pirates > Monkey D. Luffy | Roronoa Zoro | Nami | Usopp | Sanji | Tony Tony Chopper | Nico Robin | Straw Hat Grand Fleet

"Pirate Hunter" Roronoa Zoro

Voiced by: Wataru Takagi [Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack], Kazuya Nakai [TV series onwards], Megumi Urawa [young] (Japanese); Brian Zimmerman [Odex dub], Marc Diraison [4Kids dub], Andrew Rannells [young, 4Kids dub], Christopher Sabat [Funimation dub], Brina Palencia [young, Funimation dub] (English)note 

Age: 19 (Pre-Timeskip), 21 (Post-Timeskip)

Debut: Chapter 3 (Manga), Episode 1 (Anime)
Click here to see his Pre-Time Skip appearance

"I am going to be the world's greatest swordsman! (...) Whether a hero or a villain, everyone's going to know my name!"

Roronoa Zoro is the hard-drinking nineteen/twenty-one-year-old swordsman and unofficial first mate of the Straw Hat Pirates. He starts off as a mildly notorious bounty hunter in the East Blue (hence his "Pirate Hunter" moniker) that Luffy meets and saves in Shells Town. After Luffy recruits him, he grows into a monstrously powerful man who uses a unique Three Sword Style ('Santoryu' in Japanese) in battle, wielding a sword in each hand along with one in the mouth. He also becomes a user of both Armament and Observation Haki after the Time Skip.

Zoro mostly drinks and sleeps in his spare time (when he's not training his ass off) but becomes a real demon in battle that can defeat five hundred Mooks in two seconds. He often wears a green bandanna on his forearm that he ties around his head when he gets dangerous. Moreover, he sometimes acts as a voice of authority when the crew's future must be decided. He regularly happens to battle The Dragon of the current Big Bad the crew are fighting in most arcs, each of which is an occasion to hone his swordsmanship. Alongside Luffy and Sanji, Zoro is considered by the fandom as one of the Monster Trio (怪物三人組, Kaibutsu San-ningumi) of the Straw Hats. Zoro and Sanji are also considered to be "the Wings of the Pirate King" by Nico Robin.

Similar to Luffy's goal, Zoro wishes to become the greatest swordsman in the world as a promise to his childhood rival Kuina, whom he wanted to win against but never could because she died in an accident. Unlike Luffy, however, he needs only to defeat Dracule "Hawk Eyes" Mihawk, the current greatest swordsman in the world, to do so. He meets up with Mihawk fairly early in the story but fails to land a single hit. Mihawk, however, holds back just enough to leave Zoro alive and in an epic speech tells Zoro to travel the world, grow stronger, and challenge him again when he's ready. Zoro takes this early defeat to heart, swearing an oath then and there that he would never lose a fight until the day when he duels Mihawk again and defeats him. In a strange twist of events, Mihawk trains Zoro to become a stronger swordsman to protect his crew during the Time Skip.

Zoro is known as one of the "Eleven Supernovas", a title given to an infamous assortment of (mostly) pirate captains representing a new generation of piracy that reach the end of Paradise with a bounty of over 100,000,000 berries. Zoro is notable for being one of the only two Supernovas that are not the captain of their own pirate crew (the other is Killer, Eustass Kid's Number Two). Like his captain, Zoro is also a member of the "The Worst Generation" of pirates, a group made up of the Eleven Supernovas and the rising Emperor Marshall D. Teach.

He has a bounty of 1,111,000,000 berries.note 

For tropes relating to his live-action counterpart, go here.

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    A - D 
  • Affectionate Nickname: He's initially her enemy when Vivi is still undercover as Miss Wednesday, but she continues to call him "Mr. Bushido" even after joining the Straw Hats's ship.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Does this two times.
    • First, he begs Kuma to take his head instead of Luffy's when he defeated the Straw Hat Crew in Thriller Bark.
    • After defeating the Humandrills when he was separated from his crew, he begs Mihawk to teach him to get stronger for his crew's sake.
  • The Alcoholic: If he's not fighting, he's either training, sleeping, or drinking.
    • When training under Mihawk, he was horrified when his teacher told him he couldn't have a drop of alcohol to drink until he managed to infuse his sword with so much Armament Haki it turned the blade completely black.
    • Zoros taste for alcohol is so strong that he's able to sniff out a cask full of sake from miles away in the middle of the open ocean, during a thunderstorm.
  • All There in the Script: Details concerning Zoro's lineage are given in the SBS section of volume 109. While only implied during the story, it is confirmed that Zoro is indeed a descendant of Shimotsuki Ryuma, being the grandson of Shimotsuki Furiko. Zoro himself remains unaware of that connection.
  • Always Someone Better: A Running Gag shared between him and Sanji is that whatever Sanji does, Zoro does slightly better, since the latter is Luffy's Number Two. It factors in otherwise trivial things as well, such as their voices (with Zoro sounding the deepest of the two) or their heights, as Zoro is 1 cm taller. It constantly pisses the hell out of Sanji.
  • Animal Motifs: The shark, befitting his role as a deadly swordsman as well as his three sword style evoking the appearance of a shark's pectoral and dorsal fins. As well, sharks tend to be rarely dangerous unless provoked, and Zoro tends only to fight when necessary.
  • Anti-Hero: Zoro is very aloof but also caring to his crewmmates and would never hurt an innocent, but he loves the thrill of the fight. He is even described by other pirates as being capable of exuding a massive killing intent. Zoro is one of the only Straw Hats with a willingness to kill, and said he's not a friend to pirates or Marines.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: While Zoro would be the last person to talk about the inherent beauty of the world, he's still deeply invested in protecting his crew and honoring the memory of his friend. He's just as much a romantic as the rest of his crew, he just doesn't happen to go on about as much. This also overlaps with some Buddhist ideology. He also started as a guy who didn't care about anything but his own strength.
  • The Apprentice:
    • Zoro learned swordsmanship from Koshiro when he was still a child.
    • After reading Luffy's hidden message in the newspapers, Zoro accepts his captain's order to train for the next two years, so he asks Mihawk, the very man he aims to defeat, to train him; after passing a test, Mihawk accepts Zoro as his apprentice. Following the Time Skip, Zoro has become much stronger and his behavior resembles his master's. His cockiness and confidence in his abilities, his disdain for any perceived lightheartedness in serious situations, and his refusal to do anything more than the bare minimum when fighting opponents weaker than himself are extremely reminiscent of Mihawk's general personality, although in a more personable and cruder manner than his teacher's stoic and taciturn disposition.
  • Artifact Alias: The epithet "Pirate Hunter" comes from hunting pirates for a living before the start of the series. Now that he's a pirate himself, this would be quite difficult to do without getting arrested himself.
  • As Lethal as It Needs to Be: During his fight with Mr. 1, Zoro remembers the teaching of Koshiro, his old masters, and how every Master Swordsman must be able to cut everything they want (and not cut what they don't want). After some troubles, which makes him nearly lose the fight, Zoro masters the technique, first by not cutting a palm leaf, and then by slicing Mr. 1 (who is made of steel) with Lion's song.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In his youth, he became well-known for using Nitoryu techniques. He was unable to win a match against Kuina, who used a single weapon with both hands for maximum power and control. In the anime, Kuina even calls him out for using such a gimmick too early.
  • Awesomeness Is a Force: Kaido suspects that Zoro has Conqueror's Haki after Zoro seriously injures him and even questions him about it, implying he has already used it subconsciously many times to enhance his attacks, but Zoro denies it and says he doesn't know what he's talking about. However, King confirms in Chapter 1033 that Zoro does indeed have Conqueror's Haki when he unintentionally uses it to knockout several of Kaido's men during their fight.
  • Ax-Crazy: The gag comic "Mugiwara Theatre — Detective Loomes" depicts Zoro as a bloodthirsty samurai who likes slicing pedestrians with his swords, cranking his Blood Knight tendencies up and removing his sense of honor.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: After confronting Kuma, the latter asks Zoro if he's willing to endure all of Luffy's pain and fatigue, in exchange for his life. Zoro accepts and, after enduring Luffy's fatigue, Zoro remains still, covered in blood and with the arms folded as if nothing happened.
  • Badass Boast:
    • As a child, in Chapter 5, after Kuina's death, Zoro remembers their promise to become the world's best swordsman and boasts it:
      Zoro: I'll have to keep the promise for both of us. I'm going to become such a great master swordsman that my name will be known even in heaven!!!
    • After Luffy knocks out 50,000 of Hody's subordinates, he says:
      Zoro: He'd better be able to do that much or I'll have to take over as captain.
    • After unveiling his improved Tatsumaki in the Fish-Man Island arc:
      New Fish-Man Pirate: How long will it keep chasing us!?
      Zoro: To the ends of hell.
    • In Chapter 642, after easily beating Hyozu, Zoro says:
      Zoro: I was giving you the chance to escape from my reach. Bring me the actual strongest swordsman on Fish-Man Island!! You ain't even worth killing time!!
    • In Chapter 754 while fighting Pica:
      Zoro: Don't forget this! One day, I will be the greatest swordsman in the entire world!!! I'm on an entirely different level than you!!
    • He makes another one against Pica, which doubles as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
      Zoro: Over the 9 mountains and across the 8 seas...there is nothing I cannot cut!
    • After defeating King, Zoro proclaims that he will become The King of Hell.
  • Badass Longcoat: After the two-year timeskip, Zoro wears a coat that makes him look like a wandering samurai, fitting for his fighting style.
  • Badass Normal: He's the second-strongest member of the crew, on par with Luffy, and yet he doesn't have any Devil Fruit powers; his power comes from sheer skill and training. Until he unlocks Conqueror's Haki, a special ability only one in a million has.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: Zoro is a badass swordsman, and becomes even more badass whenever he dons his black bandana, which is his way to tell that he's going serious.
  • Bandage Mummy: During the Onigashima war, after being defeated by Kaido, Sanji finds Zoro and Chopper tells him to heal their crewmate. Since Sanji has no medical knowledge, he just comically wraps Zoro under multiple layers of bandages until he's a cross-shaped mummy, which Sanji then uses as a blunt weapon.
  • Baritone of Strength: He is the first mate of the Straw Hat Pirates and one of their most infamous and powerful combatants. His voice actors (notably Kazuya Nakai in the original Japanese and Christopher Sabat in English) give him a weighty and intimidating baritone to communicate that power.
  • Battle Aura: He weaponizes his aura with his "Demon Aura - Nine-Sword Style: Asura", in which his aura creates a visible illusion that grants him the appearance of an Asura, a six-armed and three-headed demonic being. Additionally, an image of an actual Asura is standing behind Zoro. This technique effectively triples his power.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Out of all the crew, it's Chopper he seems to have a huge soft spot for. So don't try to hurt Chopper. It'll make the big guy decide to go back on his policy not to fight for revenge.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • Since Zoro is The Lancer to Luffy and much more mature than him, he acts as brotherly mentor to him on several occasions, helping him with tough decisions (such as when Usopp wants to rejoin the crew) and calling him out when he's not taking a situation seriously enough.
    • Develops a strong relationship with Momonosuke in Wano by giving the latter advice on the way of the sword.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He often jumps out of nowhere to save someone at unexpected moments.
    • He saves Vivi from being blown up by Mr. 5 on Whiskey Peak.
    • He shields Nami from Mr. 1's attack in Alubarna.
    • At the end of the Thriller Bark arc, he stops Kuma from taking the entire crew, in particular Luffy,
    • Post-Time Skip, stops King Neptune's Trident when Neptune tries to attack the Straw Hats.
    • He stops Hyouzou from attacking Robin. However, considering Robin's lack of concern prior to his intervention and Zoro's offhanded apology over it, the two probably see this particular example more as Zoro stealing Robin's kill than this trope.
    • In Wano he saves Toko from getting killed by shielding her from Orochi's sniping at her.
  • Black Swords Are Better:
    • Zoro's sword Shusui has a black blade.
    • When he makes his swords black with the strength of his Haki, they become harder, more durable, and sharper; they're able to slice a massive skyscraper-sized stone statue in half effortlessly and with not a chip on their blades afterward.
  • Blood Knight: Zoro is mostly apathetic towards anything around him but, due to his desire to become the world's strongest swordsman, Zoro is interested in fighting a strong opponent, especially a swordsman, to test his skills on. When he fights Hyozou in Fish-Man Island, Zoro is disappointed that the strongest swordsfishman is not a challenge to him.
  • Body Horror: As explained by Hitetsu, Enma drains its user's Haki in excessive amount. The effect is shown when Zoro wields it for the first time, which turns his right arm into a dry husk. A normal person would have died from that, but Zoro manages to extract his Haki back from the sword.
  • Born Lucky: Downplayed, but he earned Kitetsu III by tossing it with a heavy spin above his outstretched arm and challenging its curse with his own luck. Instead of slicing off his arm, the blade circles perfectly around his arm and sinks to its hilt in the floor.
  • Brutal Honesty: Don't expect Zoro to be anything other than blunt in anything he says. Notably his commentary on Sanji's attempts to woo attractive women, his opinion on Tashigi's fighting ability (in comparison to his), or the situation with Usopp with his initial departure of the crew.
  • Butt-Monkey: While not the worst amongst the crew, he's definitely the butt of a lot of jokes and gets into a lot of weird situations. He's also the most frequent victim of Luffy's recklessness, including being rammed by a beached sailboat that Luffy is steering or getting knocked off the Merry into the sea during a nap because Luffy swung his arm too hard. Getting stuck in a chimney in Water 7 is yet another weird example. He's also run over by his own ship at one point. There are also the numerous times he's gotten lost, in ways that shouldn't be physically possible and his crew never letting him live it down.
  • Calling Your Attacks: While this is common throughout the entire cast, Zoro takes it up a notch. Many of his attacks have some of the longest names in the series, not helped by the fact that he insists on preceding each attack name with its corresponding sword style. Special mention goes to Charming Demon Sleepless Oni Giri, Black Rope Dragon Twister, Billion-fold World Trichiliocosm (which is preceded by a three sentence chant), and 103 Mercies Dragon Damnation, which is part of the King of Hell Three Sword-Style he develops during the Onigashima War.
  • Challenge Seeker: Wanting to be the world's greatest swordsman, Zoro duels everyone holding a sword to prove that he's the best and improve himself. At Onigashima, Zoro even decides to challenge Kaido because of his fame as an invincible creature.
  • Character Tics: When Zoro has the intention to fight seriously, he ties his bandana (normally kept tied around his left arm) around his head.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Zoro is extremely strong, owing to rigorous training and no Devil Fruit power or fantastic race. He's strong enough to lift an entire building or train with weights larger than a person. He also can use the "No Sword Style" in case he doesn't wield a sword, which he uses in the second round of the Davy Back Fight.
  • Celibate Hero: Zoro shows no real interest in pursuing a relationship with any women in the series and seems to rather focus on his training and dream of becoming the best swordsman in the world. This also may have something to do with Kuina's death, who Zoro greatly admired growing up, dying on him which hardened him into the man he's in today.
  • Child Prodigy: Zoro was already an extremely talented swordsman as a child, being able to defeat every adult in his dojo at around 8- to 10-years-old. Ironically though, the one person he could not beat was another young prodigy, Kuina.
  • Clashing Cousins: Downplayed (given that they had more of a Friendly Rivalry), but it's revealed in the SBS of volume 105 that he and Kuina were actually paternal second cousins. Zoro remains completely unaware of the fact that they were related, though.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: You wouldn't guess it from his usual demeanor, but Zoro just has some moments of total daffiness, and is completely serious during all of them. When he's being turned into a wax statue, he raises his sword into the air and advises everyone to strike a pose. He yells like Tarzan while swinging on a vine. When Nami has trouble swinging, he claims it's because she "didn't do the call".
  • The Coats Are Off: Zoro removes the top part of his coat when he got serious in the battle on Fish-Man Island.
  • Color Motif: Always seen wearing green, and even has green hair. It represents naivety — while he was already an accomplished swordsman, compared to someone like Mihawk, he's an absolute greenhorn.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The dude tears himself apart on a regular basis, and seems to enjoy it. In total, he's allowed himself:
    • A big scar across his chest from losing to Mihawk that was so bad Arlong wondered why it didn't kill him outright.
    • To risk the loss of an entire arm to test the curse of a sword.
    • Ankle scars from attempting to chop off his feet.
    • To go out in the freezing cold shirtless and unshod (until hawking suitable garb from a Mook).
    • To take two massive jolts of electricity.
    • Kuma's devastating test of pain which leaves him near death and eyes completely bloodshot from squinting so hard in agony.
    • And a scar while training during the timeskip that prevents the use of his left eye.
  • The Comically Serious: He's very serious and doesn't have much of a sense of humor, but he can be hilarious nonetheless, partially thanks to his crew.
  • The Consigliere: Occasionally, despite the Straw Hats not being a mafia. Though he respects Luffy's decisions most of the time, he has an innate sense of the burdens of captainship and he will step in and give some harsh, albeit necessary, wisdom whenever he feels Luffy is making a mistake.
  • Covered in Scars: He has no scars at the beginning of the series, but a duel with Mihawk leads to his first and more recognizable one: a large scar across his entire chest. He inflicts some more on himself when Mr. 3 encases his feet in wax and he tries to cut himself free, and in the two years he trained with Mihawk personally, something happened to his left eye, leaving it permanently closed and with a scar over it.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: In "Mugiwara Theatre-Märchen Time" he plays the part of a princess and when Usopp, who's playing a fairy godmother, gives him a beautiful dress he calls him "creepy". Robin even says that "the princess" is "unlovable".
  • Creepy Good: Zoro is one of only two members of the Straw Hats known to have killed in the past. Zoro is willing to chop his own feet off to join a fight and creeps the others out with his sheer determination and willpower, not to mention his monstrous strength. Usopp, Nami, and Chopper frequently find him "creepy" or "nuts" depending on the situation.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Downplayed, but it's been repeatedly remarked and shown that Zoro's main fighting style involves and relies on his triple-wielding. Any time he's been forced to only use one or two swords his combat performance suffers against anything stronger than a Mook. It's downplayed because he's often shown he does know how to fight with less than three swords, but pretty much all his aces in the hole rely on having all three out and ready.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Was subjected to one by Mihawk the first time they met, after challenging him to a sword fight. He was trounced so badly that he broke down crying, and swore to improve himself so he can finally defeat Mihawk. On the flip side, he constantly hands out this trope to his enemies like Smoker smokes cigars — it's even more prominent after the Time Skip, where his fights end with even less effort on his part than before thanks to a two-year Training from Hell.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Altough it's subtle, due to him being The Stoic, he has soft spot for the young and cute Chopper.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: His three-swords fighting style relies on it, as he holds the third sword in his mouth, and is as improbable as it looks.
  • The Cynic: Zoro is the most outwardly cynical and suspicious member of the crew, expressing pessimistic and fatalistic views about the intentions of other people, all very reasonable for a veteran bounty hunter turned pirate...but the world of One Piece runs on The Power of Friendship, so his suspicions are usually false.
  • Cynic–Idealist Duo: He's naturally the cynic to Luffy's idealist. Zoro is always quick to distrust anyone who he isn't familiar with, while Luffy strives to make friends with anyone if he can. Fittingly, whenever a new person joins the crew, Luffy will usually be among the first to trust them while Zoro will, without fail, be the last.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: While his childhood is mostly unknown, Zoro did lose a good friend and rival, Kuina, before they could both achieve their dreams of becoming great swordsman. SBS 105 reveals that his parents are dead, implicitly during his youth, as it mentions that his father died in battle while his mother died to an unknown illness..
  • Deadpan Snarker: Zoro has a really dry wit, and has thrown out some pretty badass Pre Asskicking One Liners.
  • Death Glare: He's damn good at giving these, and it gets even more terrifying once he puts on his bandanna.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Zoro's ultimate goal is to defeat Mihawk, who is the world's undefeatable swordsman.
  • Delinquent Hair: The gag comic "Mugiwara Theatre - Red-Hair of Class 3-Sea Time" gives him a mohawk, which is a reference to Tora Gari, one of his frequently-used sword techniques and a Pun for a type of mohawk. He's also depicted as a "deadly weapon" delinquent who often carries his swords around in school.
  • Determinator: His fight against Mr. 1 comes to mind. You must see the amount of punishment Zoro endured during that fight to believe it.
  • Diagonal Cut: Zoro's Shishi sonson is a single-sword technique where Zoro dashes through his foe and slashes him with a single powerful cut, he uses it for the first time against Mr. 1 and cuts his steel body. However, it isn't powerful enough to cut Kuma's cybernetic body.
  • Discard and Draw: Periodically he would lose a sword and gain a better one. He first loses Yubashiri to Shu, who rusted it away with his Devil Fruit power. It gets replaced by Shusui, an even more powerful sword from Wano Country that trades Yubashiri's light, easy-to-use nature for heavy-duty durability and power. Later on, he agrees to trade Shusui for Enma, a sword of similar fame that can "cut down to the bottom of hell" in exchange for being even more difficult to use. It also the only weapon known to have injured Kaido.
  • Dodge the Bullet: He can dodge bullets quite easily, even if they're fired from point-blank range.
  • Does Not Like Spam: According to Oda, he hates chocolate because it's too sweet for him. Good thing he got Put on a Bus for the Totto Land Arc...
  • Dragon-in-Chief: In the beginning of the series, people thought Zoro was the guy who's really in charge. Zoro's past as an infamous pirate hunter meant his reputation eclipsed Luffy's and many people considered him more dangerous than his captain and often wondered why he isn't the official captain, at least until they actually see Luffy's strength in action. Post-Alabasta, Luffy's strength gets recognised in its own right and the trope gets averted, with people wondering what kind of person Luffy is like to get someone like Zoro to be under his command.
  • The Dreaded: He's pretty scary in general and the second-strongest in the crew, and at the beginning of the series he already has an established notoriety, causing more than one person to mistake him for being the "real" captain of the Straw Hats due to Luffy's generally non-threatening appearance and childish demeanor (until Luffy becomes more famous in his own right). For example, when a crowd of Buggy Pirates are threatening Zoro, Luffy, and Nami, they jump into the ocean and swim for their lives after realizing who the former is.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: Zoro is the biggest drinker of the entire crew and his typical drink is sake, fitting his samurai aesthetic.
  • Dual Wielding: Flashbacks during the East Blue Saga reveal that in his youth, Zoro specializes in using two swords. However, after the death of Kuina, he asks her father Koushirou for her sword Wado Ichimonji, wanting to take it out of memory for their shared dream of becoming the world's premiere Master Swordsman. That said, his use of Wado is unique, as he uses it in his mouth as part of self-made style called Three Sword Style. While the series shows that his skill in Two Sword Style has by no means deteriorated in present day, Three Sword Style has supplanted it as his main fighting style. His fight against Kaku shows that he has another multi-wielding style called "Nine-Sword Style", which involves him giving the illusion that he duplicated his Cutlass Between the Teeth and his sword arms.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the 4Kids English dubbed version, his name was changed from "Zoro" to "Zolo". He is consistently called that in the localization of the manga.
    • In Germany, he's renamed as "Lorenor Zorro".
  • Dumb Muscle: Downplayed. Zoro generally has good judgement, very high perception, and a pretty keen intellect. However, aside from Luffy, he's the only crew member to not have an additional skill outside of combat, has absolutely No Sense of Direction, and is at times borderline Cloud Cuckoolander.
    E - L 
  • Embarrassing Rescue: Tashigi finds Zoro's help at Punk Hazard humiliating because she feels Zoro doesn't consider her fighting skills.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Zoro is pretty merciless, and not above killing or injuring the Mooks he encounters. However, even he is visibly disgusted by Crocodile's willingness to murder an entire country of innocents for personal gain, angrily snarling, "The term 'not-human' was created to describe scum such as you."
    • In Wano, he gets absolutely MURDEROUS and tries to outright kill Orochi after (on top of Orochi trying to kill a little girl after having just executed her father) he learns that he effectively poisoned a village with the defective smiles, leaving them unable to emote in any way other smiling and laughter. When his initial strike is blocked, he goes so far as to ask his crewmates to cover him so he can be free to hunt down Orochi personally, only failing because Kyoshiro blocked him. He's also extremely enraged when Luffy told him that the Beast Pirates are wasting food, while people like Tama are starving at the same time.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Although not an actual samurai from Wano, Zoro is reminiscent of one. He is a Master Swordsman who wields katanas and follows the samurai philosophy of Bushido, which stresses honor and loyalty. He fights fair, refusing to attack enemies whose backs are turned unless his friends are in danger of dying. He is also very loyal, standing by Luffy and respecting his decisions. He's nicknamed "Mr. Bushido" by Vivi and even poses as a Rōnin in Wano. This all makes perfect sense after it is revealed Zoro is descended from the Shimotsuki family, several of whom emigrated from Wano to the East Blue decades earlier. This in turn also means he's a descendant of Ryuma.
  • Evil Weapon: Kitetsu III's curse has led all its previous owners to violent deaths. Zoro sees it as a problem child, but he is too sword-crazy to back away from the challenge — and his mojo proves stronger than its curse as shown as he tests it on himself, earning the sword. He later gets an even more cursed sword named Enma, which is difficult to control and forcibly sucks out the Haki of anybody who wields it. Zoro is undeterred by this and quickly manages to gain control of it after only a week of training.
  • Eyepatch After Timeskip: Downplayed. He hasn't been shown to use an eyepatch, but after the Time-Skip, he comes back missing his left eye.
  • Eye Scream: After the two year Time Skip, Zoro is shown to have a lost an eye.
  • Face of a Thug: Despite being a generally good guy and a Friend to All Children, Zoro is often accused of having a scary face. It doesn't help that he rarely smiles and he's often cold and distant.
  • Failed a Spot Check: His No Sense of Direction aside, he notices the similarity between King and the Seraphims way too late, and when he lists the many physical features they share, Luffy, Lucci and Kaku snap at him for not noticing sooner because they wasted too much stamina on fighting the Seraphims while they were invulnerable instead of taking advantage of their weakness.
  • Famed In-Story: Downplayed. Zoro is the first (and until Robin joins, only) Straw Hat to have any pre-crew fame, being renowned throughout the East Blue as one of its most dangerous bounty hunters; however, because the East Blue is considered the weakest sea in the world, he's not very well-known outside of it (aside from receiving an invitation to join Baroque Works). Eventually, this tapers off as the Straw Hat Pirates as a whole become more and more famous, with Zoro becoming better-known as Luffy's Number Two.
  • Fan Disservice: Zoro with his shirt all torn up is pure Fanservice. But Zoro with his shirt torn while soaked in his own blood and so hurt he could barely stand after his confrontation with Kuma wasn't so much.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: His Three-Sword Style, which involves a sword in each and and one sword in his mouth. By One Piece standards, this is one of the more realistic fighting styles.
  • Fighting Spirit: His Asura technique is a manifestation of his fighting spirit, and makes him look three-headed and with six-arms, with a total of nine swords. Kaido suspects, however, that it's actually a form of Conqueror's Haki that Zoro has been instinctively and unknowingly using to enhance his attacks.
  • Flaming Sword: Yaki Oni Giri (Flaming Demon Slash). Used once with actual fire, and in one of the movies with magic fire. Zoro also states that he would love a flaming sword as a weapon.
  • Flanderization: Relatively minor case. What starts out as having a bad sense of direction eventually becomes being so directionally incompetent that he cannot even follow the "go straight on" instruction and takes a wide stairway to the left.
  • Foil: As The Lancer, he's a neat contrast to Luffy in many ways; a former bounty hunter with an outwardly stern and menacing disposition who actually resembles the traditional pirate far more than Luffy does due to Luffy's own cheerful demeanor.
  • Follow Your Nose: Just as Luffy can smell food from a far distance away, Zoro can smell booze, as he demonstrates in Chapter 977, during the party at Onigashima.
  • Force and Finesse: He's the Force to Brook's Finesse when it comes to swordplay. Zoro's attacks tend to be more focused on doing as much damage as possible whereas Brook's are more attuned to (mostly) harmless incapacitation.
  • Friend to All Children: He has a soft spot for kids; this is actually the first indication that he's not the bloodthirsty monster people think he is.
  • Full-Name Basis: Due to his fame as a bounty hunter, many criminals call him by his full name, and some add in his epithet "Pirate Hunter" as a prefix for good measure. He shares this distinction with Robin.
  • Full-Potential Upgrade: Yubashiri and Kitetsu III were this, as a filler episode's flashback showed Zoro having a tendency to break his second and third swords until he got them.
  • Fun with Homophones: All of his attack names read menacingly... but sound like the names of food. For example, his basic attack "oni giri" means "demon slash"... but sounds like onigiri ("rice-ball").
  • Generation Xerox:
    • During the Onigashima War, Hyogoro and Kawamatsu comment that Zoro strongly resembles the legendary samurai Shimotsuki Ryuma, the Famous Ancestor of his former rival Kuina and master Koushiro, and the man (well, zombie) he inherited Shusui from, which Zoro (unwillingly) returned to his grave during the Wano Arc. On top of the physical resemblance, Ryuma was also a one-eyed samurai like Zoro. They also have similar fighting styles and codes of honor (in part due to Zoro being trained by one of Ryuma's descendants). To further add to the similarities, at Punk Hazard Zoro even cuts off the head of a dragon like Ryuma did in legend. As Ryuma is a legend in Wano, this resemblance is one of the reasons why the natives come to trust Zoro so much.
    • One of the things that help clue them into his resemblance to Ryuma is his strong resemblance to the former daimyo of Ringo, Shimotsuki Ushimaru, another one of Ryuma's descendants, Onimaru's original master, and one of the samurai who befriended Yamato in his childhood and helped him read Oden's journal. According to them, Ushimaru was also a spectacular swordsman like Zoro, and ultimately, Zoro's resemblance to him along with his resemblance to Ryuma is what makes Hyogoro, Kawamatsu, and other Wano natives so predisposed to him. The SBS for Volume 105 later reveals why Zoro resembles both of them so much: Zoro is the grandson of Ushimaru's older sister Furiko, making him Ushimaru's great-nephew and one of Ryuma's many descendants.
  • The Gift: Zigzagged. While a major portion of Zoro's strength is due to the constant training he puts himself through while the crew is traveling from island to island, he is also naturally talented in combat. Flashbacks show him to be a Child Prodigy who could already defeat several adults on his own (with his only superior being another Child Prodigy), and in the series itself, he manages to master several powerful techniques, such as cutting steel, within a single battle alone. He even manages to learn how to imbue Conqueror's Haki into his swords after one battle, despite only having just learned he had Conqueror's Haki to begin with during that same battle. Compare that to Luffy, who does the same, but had already known and trained with his own Conqueror's Haki for years by the time he figures it out.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: He did attempt to use them once, in order to shield his eyes from an enemy's flash attacks. This did little good, given that the goggles aren't tinted.
  • Good is Not Nice: Zoro is an overall honorable, morally upstanding young man (though with some antiheroic traits, especially lethality), and has a strong sense of loyalty, but he's also fairly cynical, grumpy and harsh.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Over the course of the story Zoro gains various scars that shows his experience as a fighter. The first one, and the most important one as well, is a huge scar across his chest from his first bout with Mihawk, which Zoro tries to poorly patch up by himself at first, it's so large that even Arlong, when he sees it, wonders how can Zoro still be alive. During the Little Garden arc, Zoro gains scars on his ankles from his attempt to cut his feet off to escape a Mr. 3's deadly trap. After the timeskip, Zoro has lost an eye and has a thin scar that crosses it vertically.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: Zoro will always put the lives of the other Straw Hats above his own. He has no problem with sacrificing himself if it means someone else he cares about will live. Considering how hard he took Kuina's death and his inability to prevent it, there's likely a deep-seated fear within him of someone else he cares about dying and would just as soon take their place.
  • Green and Mean: Downplayed. Zoro has green hair, wears mostly green clothing, and his main color scheme is green. However, while he can come across as a stoic, harsh Anti-Hero, he does have his morals and softer side.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The gag comic "Mugiwara Theatre — Family Time" turned him into one of these, with his sternness and dedication to swordsmanship cranked up, and a balding head. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Handicapped Badass: Zoro apparently critically injured or even lost his left eye after the Timeskip, as there's a new scar over it and it's always closed. Either way, it hasn't slowed him down in the slightest.
  • Handy Mouth: Roronoa Zoro fights by elaborately using up to three full-size swords, first two in hands, third goes in his mouth. In one scene, he uses this technique to clean with three mops at once while infiltrating an enemy organization... which quickly blows his cover, forcing him to use them as Improvised Weapons.
  • Heavy Sleeper: While on the ship, when he isn't training, Zoro spends his time sleeping, and he can sleep anywhere at any time, even sleeping through a storm like it was smooth sailing. Or during a snow storm, he doesn't even wake up after being thoroughly covered in snow; he's even wearing short sleeves.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Although Zoro is the most anti-heroic of the crew. Zoro is an extremely powerful master swordsman, being able to use one, two, and three swords in varying attack styles, going from melee-type all the way to artillery. He is even able to use some sword techniques that utilize the very air itself to strike the enemy from a distance. Brook classifies Zoro as a user of the "Power of Destruction" (破壊力 Hakairyoku?).
  • Heroic Ambidexterity: Though evidence points to Zoro being left-handed, as his swords are on his right side, he's clearly just as capable with a sword using his right hand.
  • Heroic Lineage: The Wano Arc reveals that he's a descendant of the Shimotsuki Clan, a powerful family of sword masters. And it's the samurai Ryuma (the same Ryuma Zoro fought on Thriller Bark) who progenated the clan. In other words, the way of the sword is in Zoro's blood.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Offers his life in exchange for Luffy's before a nigh unbeatable foe. Instead, said foe allows him to take in all of Luffy's pain and exhaustion, which was supposed to be a traumatic enough experience to kill him. Naturally, it doesn't. And this is all the pain and exhaustion from someone made of rubber who was able to endure it thanks to his Devil Fruit powers, forced into a (technically) normal human body.
  • Hey, You!: When Robin joins the crew, Zoro is initially very distrustful of her and never refers to her by name; this changes after the events of Enies Lobby, after he comes to recognize and accept her as a trustworthy comrade. He also never calls Sanji by his name, preferring to use derogatory nicknames instead.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Zoro tends to face swords users, since he wants to become the strongest swordsman of the world, and during his fights he gets often cut, losing huge quantities of blood.
  • Hollywood Healing: Zoro's fights are the most intense ones and, by the end of them, he ends up in worst conditions than most of his crewmates, but all his wounds, no matter how deep they are, are quickly treated and healed with just some bandages.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Implied to be a source of angst involving the best friend, Kuina, whose childhood death he never got over. It's especially heart-wrenching when you consider that the other Straw Hats were at least assured they were unconditionally cared about by their own loved ones, no matter how tragic the circumstances. Zoro has always been alone since the beginning.
  • Hungry Weapon: After Zoro agrees to leave Shusui in Ryuma's grave, as a replacement he receives one of Oden's swords, the Great Grade Sword Enma, a sword that is notorious for draining excessive amounts of Armament Haki, to the point most people who try to use it die. The first time Zoro uses Enma, it drains enough Haki from his arm that it ends up looking shriveled and mummified, and he has to forcefully take the energy back.
  • Hunk: He is on the lean side and isn't as muscular as Ace, but the most muscular of the Straw Hats and is quite good-looking. He gets even more hunkier after the timeskip.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During Wano's infiltration, Zoro chastises Luffy for having blown his cover and begun a brawl with the Animal Kingdom Pirates, right after he has cut down the second floor and destroyed a good part of the hall. The Kid pirates note how Zoro has caused as much trouble as Luffy.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Has two of these that he uses in dire situations, one with a single sword and another with two. A three-sword version would probably be impossible, but this is One Piece...
  • Iconic Outfit: Despite changing clothes in every arc since Skypiea, his original white T and black pants remains Zoro's most recognizable outfit, as well as the green robe he wears in the Fishman Island Arc. Notably, he's never seen without his green "belly warmer" and 3 earrings.
  • Identical Grandson: Zoro is a near-carbon copy of both his great-uncle Ushimaru and his Famous Ancestor Ryuma, which plays a heavy role in why the natives of Wano warm up to him so quickly.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: When Zoro fights Monet, the latter is fully aware that he can use Haki, and in one attack he vertically cuts her in half but purposely holds back on the Haki so as to not kill her. She knows she should be dead and this near-death experience brought on a fear that is enough to keep her from properly reforming.
  • I Gave My Word: Zoro takes his promises to others seriously, and is determined to keep them, to the point that he seems to really dislike being accused of not being able to fulfill a promise. This is in fact the basis for his dream to become the World's Greatest Swordsman; Kuina and him made that promise together, but when Kuina died and was unable to fulfill it herself, Zoro took her sword and devoted everything he had into that dream in her memory, refusing to break that promise.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Zoro is a master swordsman and is able to slice everything, from buildings to mountain-sized golems.
  • Improbable Age: Zoro is one of the strongest swordsmen of the world at the young age of 21-years-old.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Officially, it is "Zoro". All Japanese material and the Funimation dub/subs confirm this. However, the 4Kids dub and Viz's manga spell it "Zolo". It was heavily implied the change was made because someone on the production team worried about being sued by the "owners" of Zorro note , who is moss-head's namesake. Still, the fan complaints over this grew to a ridiculous extreme; it's one of the biggest backlashes in the history of Western anime fandom. Note that in German, the translators outright use "Zorro".
  • Instant Armor: Learns to use the Armament Haki during the timeskip, and he imbues the power in his sword like many New World swordsmen. Oda said that Zoro specializes in this type of Haki, and it shows; he can launch a black tornado of Razor Wind that keeps on spinning and cutting up everything in its path with it. Oda's statement holds again during the Wano Arc when Zoro is seen being able to prevent the Great Grade Sword Enma from completely draining his Armament, which itself is impressive considering that according to Tenguyama Hitetsu, its previous owner, Oden, was the only known person prior to accomplish this feat.
  • Instant Expert: Most users of Conqueror's Haki take months or even years to master it and its most advanced techniques after fully awakening the ability. Zoro not only fully awakens his during the Onigashima War, he manages to master it to the point that he can imbue his swords with it during his fight with King. That means he managed to master an ability Luffy spent most of the time skip developing within the span of a single battle.
  • Instant Waking Skills: As people such as the Franky Family finds out, Zoro can go from sleeping to fighting in a second.
  • Irony:
    • Zoro begins his career as a pirate hunter but, after being rescued by Luffy, he follows him becomes a pirate. Zoro comments the irony as he accepts Luffy's request.
    • Despite his abysmal sense of direction, he briefly serves as Luffy's navigator when their crew consists of just the two of them.
    • For how little they get along, Zoro and Sanji have proven on multiple occasions that they're an extremely effective duo. They agree to cooperate in the Groggy Ring for ten seconds, and turn the event completely around in that length of time and win.
  • It's Personal: Out of all the Straw Hats, Zoro is the only one who holds a personal grudge on Orochi, seeing what the evil Shogun has done to the people of Wano, but most importantly, killing his friend Yasuie. Zoro is enraged after Yasuie's execution and attempts to kill Orochi despite Sanji's protests. After escaping the capital city, Zoro vows to kill Orochi to avenge Yasuie.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While not a complete Jerkass, Zoro tends to be one of the more abrasive members of the crew when giving advice. However, his advice tends to be right.
    • During the Davy Back Fight, when Chopper laments being forcibly recruited into the Foxy Pirates as a result of Nami, Robin and Usopp's loss (which was due to Foxy cheating), he tells Chopper to own up to his decision to join the Straw Hats and that he shouldn't be blaming others for it. Chopper gets the point and stops complaining.
    • When Usopp wants to rejoin the crew, he tells Luffy that unless Usopp apologizes first, he'd simply be allowing a crew member to disrespect him. In this occasion Sanji, who otherwise does everything Nami tells him and butts heads with Zoro, tells Nami that he agrees with Zoro.
    • He acts rather apathetic about Sanji leaving the crew for his Arranged Marriage with one of Big Mom's daughters, pointing out that they can't be sticking their noses in one Emperor's business when they're currently focused on another. This is proven right by the time of the Wano Arc. Big Mom pursues the Straw Hats in revenge, and after a series of events ends up teaming up with Kaido, so now the Straw Hats and their allies have two Emperors to deal with.
    • When the crew learn of Vivi's status and how Sabo seemingly killed Cobra, the members who know Vivi personally frantically want to go and save her, Zoro shuts down their pleas immediately pointing out even if they go to Alabasta or Marijoa, she isn't there. He goes on further to remind Luffy on how when he learned about Ace's situation, he said that Ace had his own adventures for himself and said it with a smile on his face despite knowing he was in trouble and only did something when he learned Ace was in serious trouble. He goes on further to point out that Vivi is stronger than she looks and for now, they need to have faith in her and Sabo to take care of themselves. Luffy's reaction after he says all this shows that he hates it, but knows Zoro is right.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's normally grumpy and rude, but if any of his crew get in trouble he's the first to help them and genuinely cares for their safety. Though he might start growling about how stupid/thoughtless they were for getting into the mess in the first place.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Zoro carries three katanas with him as his weapon, going with his samurai-esque inspiration. He changes them over the course of the story, except for the Wado Ichimonji, which previously belonged to his rival, Kuina, and he inherited after her death. After breaking two of his katanas, Zoro obtains Kitetsu III and Yubashiri, then he loses the latter and replaces it with Shusui, which belonged to Ryuma. In Wano, he allows Onimaru to bring Shusui to Ryuma's grave and Hiyori gives him Enma, one of Oden's two katanas.
  • Ki Manipulation: As revealed by Luffy, he can now use Haki after the time-skip. Oda says that he specializes in Armament Haki, which is shown when he used it to cut Monet's cheek, at long range.
  • Killing Intent: This is implied to be behind his Nine Sword Style: Asura ability (where he sprouts extra heads, arms and swords). This also allows him to beat Monet, a Logia user, to the point she was frozen in fear and couldn't reassemble herself after he cut her without Haki.
  • The Lancer: To Luffy. While his captain has a goofy and happy-go-lucky personality who has a more freestyle form of fighting, primarily using his fists and feet, and has always wanted about being a pirate since youth, Zoro is serious and stern, trained in three-sword-style and only uses a sword in combat, and was originally a pirate hunter for money. Zoro ensures that Luffy behaves like how a pirate captain is supposed to, thanks to maturity being a good balance to Luffy's naivety.
  • Last-Name Basis: Dozens of characters outside of the crew refer to him as "Roronoa", due to his fame as Pirate Hunter.
  • Leitmotif: Zoro Eyecatcher.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When he puts the bandana on, Zoro will usually use some crazy attack that destroys his opponent, and usually the environment around them. Lampshaded during Enies Lobby where Kaku asks him if the bandana increases his power.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: An interesting case where the villains barely had to do anything to provoke Luffy into fighting Zoro at Whiskey Peak. They had all been beaten up by Zoro and Luffy was mistakenly led to believe that Zoro did this for the fun of it, when the villains were "nice" to him and the crew beforehand, giving them food and partying with them, all the while waiting for the chance to kill them all.
  • Licking the Blade: A few times, when he's really excited for a fight, Zoro would lick his blade.
  • Lighter and Softer: His fights after the time-skip are much less bloodier since Zoro has a much easier time and goes through much less pain.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Zoro is one of the crew's strongest combatants and he relies purely on his physical skills and swordsmanship. His physical strength is comparable to Luffy's, and he can react fast enough to dodge bullets fired at point-blank range. While underwater, Zoro one-shots Hody Jones, a very strong Fish-man, proving to be both faster and stronger. And one of Zoro's best qualities is his tankiness, being able to endure extreme pain and survive otherwise deadly injuries that is beyond the human level.

    M - S 
  • Made of Iron:
    • While most fights might downplay how badly Luffy and others get injured, it's kinda hard to do that with Zoro, as he almost always fights swordsmen. This makes him more and more a terror to fight as the series continues, particularly against rival swordsmen.
    • When a Fish-man Supremacist like Arlong sees the extent of Zoro's wounds prior to the battle, and how well he'd fought, he decides he cannot let a human like this live.
    • He refuses to be incapacitated even after Mr. 1 practically grinds his organs to a pulp.
    • In Wano, he tanks a Combination Attack from two Emperors and lives, although it basically breaks every bone in his body.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: At the end of the Thriller Bark Arc, Zoro absorbs all the pain Luffy acquired to prevent Kuma from taking him, which results in him standing in a pool of his own blood. In his own words, when Sanji asks him what happened, it's "nothing at all".
  • Mangst: He still carries Wado Ichimonji everywhere.
  • Martial Pacifist: While never one to even "try" to avoid a fight, Zoro rarely, if ever, starts one, despite his rather Blood Knight like nature. After the time skip Zoro even starts to refuse to fight people he deems weaker than himself, and those he does fight he tries to make give up by destroying their weapons or intimidating the hell out of them. That said, if his opponent still comes at him or the other Straw Hats and allies, he will take them out.
  • Master Swordsman: Zoro is already considered a master at his "Three Sword" style and his ultimate goal is to become the greatest swordsman in the world. He's also trained by the Master Swordsman of the setting – Dracule "Hawk Eye" Mihawk, over the two years timeskip.
  • Meaningful Echo: Before Zoro's duel with Mihawk begins, the latters calls him a "frog in a puddle" and then shows how weaker he is compared to the World's Greatest Swordsman. During the Fishman Island Arc, Zoro has his first serious duel since the time-skip against Hyozo, Fishman Island's strongest swordsman, and defeats him easily, calling him "a frog" just like Mihawk did before with Zoro. This line remarks how much Zoro has improved since his first duel with Mihawk.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Zoro is an attractive man with a muscular and well-proportioned body and there are many scenes, while he's fighting or training, in which he doesn't wear anything on his torso.
  • Mystical 108: Zoro's Pound Hou techniques follow this motif, which Zoro himself discusses during the Skypiea Arc before using it. Every sword is a 36 Pound Hou, meaning a one sword attack is a 36 Pound Hou, two swords are 72 Pound Hou and three swords are 108 Pound Hou. The latter attack is used the first time to defeat Ohm, the last of Eneru's priests. After the Time Skip, Zoro upgrades his moves into 360 Pound Hou with one sword, 720 Pound Hou with two and 1080 Pound Hou with three. The latter is used to slash a mountain-sized golem during the Dressrosa arc.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: His surname is based on that of real-life pirate François l'Olonnais, notable among other things for cutting out an enemy's heart and biting into it in front of him mid-fight.
  • Named After the Injury: Received a scar across his eye during the Time Skip. In Wano, Zoro is called the One-Eyed Ronin after cutting down a magistrate who was trying to frame him for murder.
  • Nerves of Steel: Reacts pretty calmly to situations. Justified as Zoro's belief in fate leads him to leave things to luck.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Zoro can hold ridiculous amounts of alcohol without even getting tipsy.
    • Even after out-drinking thirteen people, Zoro went on to fight one hundred trained assassins at Whiskey Peak with no problems whatsoever. He didn't even have a hangover next morning. However, part of the reason why he never gets drunk is because he knows his limits. As he himself says:
      Zoro: A true swordsman never drinks himself into a stupor.
    • Chapter 669: Sanji (in Nami's body), and Brook all get hit by a sleeping gas that is somehow supposed to use alcohol to knock out even the heaviest of drinkers. Zoro does end up falling asleep from the fumes, but it also takes him longer than Sanji or Brook to succumb; long enough that he can slice a needle-laden mountaintop that they're headed toward in half so that they don't all die or get horribly injured.
  • Never Gets Fat: Speaking of his drinking, he is seen drinking booze many times in the manga, anime, and the movies and yet he never develops a beer gut. Every middle-aged drunkard would kill for a body like his!
  • Never My Fault: Every time he's left to his own devices, he ends up running in circles believing it's his crew who's lost, not him.
    Zoro: "Damn, the others are lost again..." (while they were all riding the same lion-dog)
  • No Badass to His Valet: To the world, Zoro is a monstrously powerful swordsman with an intense amount of bloodlust and potential, and the First Mate to one of the most dangerous pirates on the Grand Line. To the rest of the Straw Hat crew, he's their meathead of a swordsman who's capable of getting lost in a straight hallway and is only marginally smarter than their reckless idiot of a captain, and the Dressrosa arc confirms that not even Zoro views himself as the First Mate.
  • No Sense of Direction: This man is capable of getting lost in a straight hallway. This man is capable of getting lost when a door was in front of him. This man is capable of getting lost when it shouldn't be physically possible.
    • And when he wants to get away from someone, he'll end up running into them anyway.
    • Even the zombie that had his shadow got lost when following a large group of zombies.
    • On three separate occasions, he's been instructed to go up a massive, un-missable staircase directly in front of him and goes sprinting along adjacent to it. In all three cases, he blames the person who told him where to go for not being clear enough.
    • When he's told to go south, he goes the opposite direction. While in the company of a bird whose head will only ever point south. And when he's told to go north, he immediately starts climbing a building, thinking "north" means "up".
    • Surprisingly, the only time he actually didn't get lost is during the Post-Marineford arc, when Mihawk told him he can find a rowboat to the west of his castle, and he actually found it.
    • He seemingly gets over this over the Time Skip, bragging to Sanji that he got back to Saboady first. Subverted when it turns out that was only with the help of Perona, with his navigational skills being just as bad as ever.
    • When escaping from a lethal wave of poisonous gas, he stays behind to fight somebody while everyone else runs away. Much later while they're still running, he catches up, running towards them from the opposite direction.
    • In Dressrosa, he manages to completely ignore or misconstrue directions that are being given to him in real time, by someone riding in his coat pocket who can see exactly where they're going.
    • Wano Country: he manages to get lost and separated from his group of Luffy, Law, and Kiku while they're all riding on the back of the same lion-dog, without any battle involved. In short, he managed to get lost while just sitting down.
    • The SBS of volume 85 reveals that if the Straw Hats do a 50-meter race, Zoro would be placed 5th. Zoro would be ranked higher in the shorter distance race since he would not run off the track.
    • By the Egghead Island arc, the rest of the crew are actively refusing to have him help look for someone on the grounds that they'd have to find him in the process. Luffy even has Kaku babysit Zoro to make sure he doesn't get lost.
  • No Social Skills: A more minor example than most, but if Zoro isn't issuing badass threats he's actually fairly awkward in social scenarios, usually getting rather frustrated if things get out of his comfort zone. His relationships with Tashigi and Sanji reek of this.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: At the beginning of the series, Zoro already has a reputation as a top-tier swordsman in the East Blue and a dangerous pirate hunter. Most of his battles end in single stroke and he's more feared than Luffy, who is initially seen as a nobody. When faced against Mihawk, the greatest swordsman in the world, it turns out to be a complete and utter curb stomp with Mihawk deflecting all of Zoro's strikes with a tiny knife. When he enters the Grand Line, Zoro encounters opponents that give him a run for his money.
    Mihawk: You may have a reputation, but you're still just a bunny. [...] You're a little frog, croaking in your puddle. Time you learned how big the world is.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: He visibly suffers what should be fatal injuries repeatedly over the course of the series, the most standout examples being when he is carved up by Mihawk, effectively put through a meat grinder by Mr. 1, or forced to take on all of Luffy's pain by Kuma. But, no matter how grave his injuries, he always lives through them with sheer willpower. This is Lampshaded by Arlong when Zoro's wounds from Mihawk's aforementioned-carving open up on him, as he looks on in horror and astonishment while questioning how Zoro could still possibly be alive with such injuries.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Zoro would prefer to die in battle rather than lose. He also tends to excel when he's close to death.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: He's one of the very few to not fall for Hiyori's beauty, who's considered the most beautiful woman of the Land of Wano, and doesn't even care when she's sleeping on his lap. Hiyori, however, seems attracted to the fact that she doesn't elicit the usual response from him that she gets from other men and because he saved her life.
  • Not So Above It All: He enjoys his booze parties from time to time. In general, he can be very serious, but thanks to the influence of the Straw Hats, he ends up reacting to, and even participating in their goofy shenanigans.
    • In the Thriller Bark arc, when the Straw Hats start falling one by one to Perona's ghosts and acting depressed, Zoro chastises them for letting something as trivial as a ghost defeat them, just to have a ghost make him act depressed, too. Sanji got a kick out of that one.
    • His reaction to Luffy laughing at Pica's absolutely ridiculous voice (while they were in danger to be buried under a village-sized stonefist):
      Zoro: Luffy! Now is not the time to laugh at the enemy's—pfffhahahahaha!
  • Not So Stoic:
    • He's usually The Stoic, but he does have his moments, such as when seeing Kaku's Devil Fruit powers for the first time. In fact, every time Kaku's been making up new moves with his Devil Fruit.
    • His reaction to having to block Mr.5's "Nose Fancy Cannon" attack.
    • He was enraged by what he perceived as a Lack of Empathy by the people of Ebisu town laughing when Tonoyasu was killed and loudly called them out for it. Though he calmed himself (outwardly) when he learnt why they were laughing.
    • He's similarly angered when seeing Kiku's arm fall from the top of Oni Island, leading to him taking out Apoo in one shot. When Queen decided to use his gatling gun on Chopper for figuring out the way the Ice Oni Virus works, Zoro responded by launching an air slash that destroyed it before furiously calling him out on treating the spread of his fatal virus as a game, saying he doesn't have time to waste on this and that he came to cut down Kaido.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Brook walks in on him and sees Hiyori sleeping on top of him causes an embarrassed Zoro to state nothing happened and that they were just sleeping. Gets a little more harder when Hiyori teases him and asks if he enjoyed it, clearly showing interest in him.
  • Not Worth Killing: He could've easily killed Monet if he used Haki, but he didn't, deciding that leaving her with her resolve broken is enough.
  • Number Two: In times of emotional crisis for the crew, he's taken responsibility of the crew and reminds Luffy of his duties as a captain, solidifying his position as first mate. This is most obvious in regards to Luffy's duel with Usopp. Later, he and Nami tend to share this role depending on the situation. By outsiders, he's considered Luffy's number two.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • He seems to have formed one with Perona during the timeskip despite their differences. It seems they have gotten along with each other to the point she helped him get back to Sabaody with the crew and it even hints she'll miss him.
    • In Wano he forms one with Tonoyasu despite being rather annoyed by his behavior. He was later enraged over his unfair murder at the hands of Orochi and Zoro took it upon himself to protect his daughter Toko and vow revenge on his behalf.
    • Within the crew itself he and Brook get along quite well despite the skeleton being a Dirty Old Man. Brook has a deep-seated respect for Zoro, and Zoro was the first to set out for Brook's shadow when he discovered that Brook and Laboon were connected.
  • One-Man Army: Already at the beginning of the series, Zoro is a feared bounty hunter and can single-handedly defeat entire groups of people on his own, like when he beats 100 expert bounty hunters in Whiskey Peak or most of the Neptune Army (and after his capture, he plans to do the same with Hody's men). Usopp flat-out calls him a one-man army.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Despite his aloof nature and stoic attitude, Zoro is incredibly loyal to his friends, even risking his own life for any of them. However, when Usopp wanted to come back to the crew after leaving, not only did Zoro brusquely state the former couldn't until he apologized to Luffy for his earlier behavior but also threatened to leave himself if Luffy would allow such disrespect to happen. This moment really shows how much Zoro values loyalty towards Luffy.
    • Zoro is usually calm, at most getting excited when he's fighting a strong opponent, but when all of Ebisu Town's inhabitants laugh at Yasuie's death, he gets visibly angry and upset.
  • Out of Focus: Zoro, Robin, Usopp, and Franky are all completely absent during the Whole Cake Island arc due to heading for Wano instead. This mirrors Nami, Chopper, Sanji, and Brook's absence during most of the Dressrosa Arc.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: To an increasingly ridiculous degree.
    • In the 5th movie, the villain says his Cursed Sword will drink all of Zoro's blood. Poor thing probably would have exploded from overfill.
    • They made fun of this in Episode 523. They show Zoro looking at nine pint bags of blood that are being transfused into Sanji, angling as if he had given it all.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite not being much open about it, Zoro cares for the crew as much as anybody else, especially Chopper, the youngest member of the crew. Messing with any of them is a pretty good way to easily anger him.
  • Parental Abandonment: There has been no mention of his parents at all. All we know is that he trained at the dojo at a young age.
  • Parrying Bullets: Or any projectile. Be it bullets, cannon balls, snot bombs or arrows, Zoro can deflect or cut them all.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Zoro used to smile and laugh quite frequently in early arcs. This changes after his defeat at the hands of Mihawk. Since then, he has developed a bad temper as pointed out by Sanji in the Arlong arc. However, he's prone to smiling and laughing during the parties the Straw Hats and friends have at the end of most arcs.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: After the time-skip, he has become strong enough to slice in two entire ships, and in the Dressrosa Arc, he slices a mountain-sized stone Pica to bits.
  • Playing with Fire: During the Alliance's attack on Onigashima, Zoro reveals that he is capable of pulling off Kin'emon's Foxfire style. When asked how, it's implied he learned it by watching Kin'emon.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Discussed; Tashigi sees Zoro's reluctance to fight her as some chauvinist attitude towards fighting women, which is only reaffirmed when she sees that he's not going all-out against Monet. What Tashigi doesn't know however is that Zoro only holds back because she looks just like Kuina, and then he subverts the trope in front of her by cutting Monet in half.
  • Power Glows: Occasionally, he will glow when he performs any of his more potent attacks as well as creating illusions, thought of by Kaku as being the power of his spirit.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • To Kaku:
      Zoro (to Kaku): Bring on the hardship. It's preferred on the path to carnage!
    • Subverted when he says one to Monet, since he didn't intend to kill her:
      Zoro: But let me ask you. Have you ever met a wild beast that you could guarantee would never bite a human? Cuz I haven't.
  • Quit Your Whining: Says this to Chopper after he gets forcibly taken into Foxy's crew as a result of the Straw Hats losing the first round of the Davy Back Fight.
  • Razor Wind: His Dragon Twister and Pound Phoenix techniques. After the Time Skip, his Dragon Twister gets mixed with Tornado Move as well.
  • Really Fond of Sleeping: Zig-Zagged. Zoro is constantly taking naps whenever he's not training or otherwise occupied, but Oda revealed in an SBS that Zoro only sleeps 3 hours a night, from 4 in the morning until 7 in the morning.
  • Real Men Don't Cry: Zoro has only cried twice over the course of the entire series. The first time was when he was still quite young and Kuina had just died, and he asked her father for Wado. Quite understandable, especially at that age. The second time is while he swears to Luffy that he would never lose again after losing to Mihawk. Since then, he's rarely, if ever, smiled and has never poured a tear.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • The blue to Luffy's red. Albeit both are reckless and always looking for a fight, Zoro is calm and stoic while Luffy is constantly energetic and emotional.
    • And a much bigger Blue to Sanji's Red, Zoro is grumpy, stoic and hides his affection towards his crewmates with actions as opposed to words. His most powerful techniques are reliant on a cool head and cold, steely focus. However, with him and Sanji's case, it gets switched around when they fight, with Sanji often becoming the tactical, villain-spanning Blue Oni while Zoro becomes the fight-happy Red Oni if suitably provoked. Post-Time Skip: In an extended scene in episode 519 of the anime, when he and Sanji start fighting, Zoro has a blue aura and Sanji has a red one. The battle fury is so intense that all that is seen are the two Battle Auras colliding with each other.
  • The Reliable One: Despite his abrasive nature and not often ending up in dangerous situations because of his recklessness, Zoro is actually a pretty stable rock for the Straw Hats. He can almost always be counted on to be the one who steps up when Luffy isn't being a proper captain, gives sensible advice or, more often shows up in time to save someone. When Usopp tries to rejoin the crew in Water 7; Zoro's the one who overrules his captain trying to go find him, tells Nami to shut up when she protests, and demands that Usopp not be allowed back until he apologizes for his blatant disrespect so Luffy doesn't show himself as someone to be walked all over. It's enough that Sanji even agrees with Zoro's assessment.
  • Rōnin: While in Wano, he poses as a ronin named Zorojuro and exchanges his clothes for a robe. The fact that he's already a swordman and his real-life nationality would be Japanese make him almost an authentic ronin. The later reveal that Zoro is descended from Wano natives only cements this further.
  • Running Gag: His No Sense of Direction habits. Also, his quarrels with Sanji always start with him saying something snarky to Sanji's antics, followed by Sanji insulting him, followed by them trying to kick/slice each other...
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: He has no skills beyond fighting (and drinking). While all of the other Straw Hats have responsibilities like medicine, navigation, shipbuilding and other non-combat related duties, the only thing he does is guard the ship and try not to get lost. Like Luffy, it is safe to say he probably would've starved to death if he didn't join the Straw Hats when he did.
  • Set Swords to "Stun": When Zoro wants to avoid killing someone, he'll strike his enemy with the backs of his katanas. Nami and Chopper point out that this could still be fatal due to internal injuries.
  • A Scar to Remember: The scar on his chest is a "gift" from Mihawk as a souvenir of their first duel. It acts as a reminder of the encounter for Zoro, to motivate him on his journey to grow stronger in hopes of an eventual rematch between them.
  • Scars Are Forever: Zoro is the most combat-focused Straw Hat and, over the course of the series, he gains multiple scars to show his experience: he gets has an enormous scar spanning his chest from his first fight with Mihawk, which scares even Arlong, has a scar on each of his legs from trying to cut his feet off to get out of Mr. 3's candle wax and, during the timeskip, he acquires one over his eye, which appear to be missing.
  • Seeking Ultimate Strength: The long-term dream of Roronoa Zoro is to become known as the world's greatest swordsman, taking the title from the current holder, Dracule Mihawk.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: While his fights are much more brutal than those of his crewmembers, Zoro is never on the brink of death during a fight, with a few exceptions, and he cockily dishes out Badass Boasts to let his enemies know how beneath him they are. His troubles in a fight mostly come from his inability to hit his opponent properly, until he develops a new technique that solves the problem. Not only has Zoro's new mastery of Armament Haki taken his Made of Iron credentials to a whole new level, because he can also channel it into his blades, his swords have not chipped or broken after Enies Lobby — not even after he cuts a walking, talking, breathing mountain into castle-sized pieces. In the Wano arc, he suffers a serious injury for the first time since the fight against Kuma, but still wins rather handily. He finally loses his first post-Time Skip fight when he's knocked out during the Final Battle against Kaido, one of the Four Emperors, after having dealt him a serious wound that the man himself confirmed would scar and earning a measure of the Emperor's respect. Subsequently, Zoro's one-on-one fight with King is the most difficult he's had since Alabasta, and he's visibly struggling the entire fight.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: This is largely what Sanji is to him despite being in the same crew. These two never miss an opportunity to belittle, one-up, or humiliate the other. However, they're equally willing to protect and defend each other when push comes to shove.
  • Slasher Smile: He shows a great deal of enthusiasm when it comes to getting into fights. Case in point when Usopp's friends ask him what happened to their captain.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Despite having a skillset and fighting style that's primarily based around physical strength and swordplay, Zoro can be surprisingly intelligent and wise. He comes up with the "mark of friendship" used to prove their identity in Alabasta (using a bandana as the outward mark to confuse the enemy, with the true mark being hidden beneath it), and has valuable insights when it comes to loyalty and leadership.
  • Spider-Sense: Obtained the Observation Haki during the Time Skip, which functions similarly to spider-sense.
  • The Stoic: He's a lot more reserved than most of the crew, often taking negative events without losing his composure. He's often the crew's voice of reason.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • In Skypiea, Zoro, who is in a group with Nami and Robin, gives a Tarzan yell while swinging on a vine, declaring it the right way to swing from a vine. Later, Luffy, who's in a team with Usopp and Sanji, does the same thing when he swings from a vine himself.
    • After Luffy's explanation on the difference between pirates and heroes – heroes share meat, pirates don't — which Zoro was not there to hear, Zoro gives an incredibly similar analogy, except he substitutes booze for meat.
    • When Luffy and Nami are captured, imprisoned and restrained by Big Mom's crew, Luffy intends to get out by tearing off his arms, which is very similar to Zoro, who intended to cut off his legs to escape Mr. 3's Giant Candle Service Set.
  • Super-Reflexes: Like many characters, Zoro is extremely agile and can dodge bullet guns or laser beams even when injured.
  • Sword Sparks: Zoro tends to fight other swordsmen, therefore his fights have a lot of blades clashing against each other.
    T - Y 
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Zoro and Sanji, who generally bicker with each other, face the Groggy Monsters during the Davy Back Fight. The latter's coordination almost beat Zoro and Sanji, who instead spend the first half of the fight yelling at each other, until the duo decides to make a break from their rivalry and completely beat their enemies.
  • Terror Hero: Zoro is a heroic person, but is also the scariest Straw Hat to his enemies: during the Punk Hazard Arc, he paralyzes Monet by a display of strength and pure killing intent alone. Said killing intent is actually foreshadowing of Zoro's ability to use Conqueror's Haki. When he fully awakens it, his ability to induce fear is enhanced, and he unconsciously uses it to impose his will upon those weaker than him and terrify them into submission, if not outright knock them out.
  • To Be a Master: His goal is to become "the greatest swordsman in the world". While he puts Luffy's goal above his own, Zoro's will to become the world's strongest swordsman is not only because of Kuina, but also for Luffy, which is further motivation for him to become the strongest.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: While he's still mostly grouchy, he smiles a lot more during the Wano arc, especially when he reunites with Luffy. When the arc is over, he's nothing but completely happy as they all party together.
  • Tough Love: Toward Chopper, when lecturing him on the consequences of being a pirate during the Davy Back Fight, and to Usopp, forcing the sniper to swallow his pride, apologize for his selfishness, and beg before being allowed back on the crew at the end of the Enies Lobby arc.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Wado Ichimonji, his only consistent sword, used to belong to his childhood friend/rival Kuina, and after her death, he uses it to remind himself of their promise to become great swordsmen.
  • Trash Talk: Zoro is the Straw Hat Pirates' resident trash talker in a fight. He enjoys telling his opponents things like "The reason you've never lost is because you've never met me", and of course, he always gives out a "Post Asskicking One-Liner", in which he usually comments on how his opponents were a mere stepping stone for him.
  • Troll: In the Syrup Village Arc, Zoro claims he, Nami, and Luffy (who were at a restaurant in town) ate Usopp as a joke, complete with a scary-looking Slasher Smile, to scare the Usopp Pirates looking for their captain. Unknowingly, he seemingly confirms their suspicions about the pirates, and make them faint, but this misunderstanding gets cleared up right after they regained consciousness.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Despite being aware of Mihawk's fame, Zoro challenges him for the title of the world's strongest swordsman. Mihawk accepts, but decides to use only his smallest knife since he doesn't consider Zoro worth using anything bigger on, (And he even considers using that one overkill and admits he would've use a smaller blade if he had one), and completely defeats Zoro with it.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • It took some doing at first, but of all the Straw Hats, Zoro's the first one who took his position very seriously. So long as Luffy continues to meet his expectations where it counts, Zoro will always be the first to have his back and be the last to fail him — and when Luffy makes a decision as Captain of their crew, he'll damn well see that the rest of them follow it, and will absolutely not forgive any mutinous attitudes towards his captain.
    • This also applies to the rest of the crew. So long as they perform their duties and follow Luffy's orders, Zoro will gladly put his life on the line to rescue them if they are need of assistance. When he feels he's slowing Usopp down in Sabaody, he tells Usopp to leave him behind and save himself. Usopp naturally refuses, and this is after he told the crew in Water 7 to leave Usopp behind if he did not apologize for his actions.
  • Volleying Insults: Zoro and Sanji frequently exchange insults with each other.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Zoro fully intended to sacrifice himself as part of a deal with Kuma to spare the rest of the Straw Hats. When he made this deal, he was under the assumption that everyone else was unconscious.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Zoro isn't too much of a thinker. When he sees a problem ahead, his solution is usually to just cut his enemies down.
    Usopp: (when the Ryugu Castle is under attack) We're confined to the castle in the middle of an enemy attack! What should we do?! Wait!! Don't answer that!
    Zoro: Let's cut 'em.
    Usopp: I told you not to answer!
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Zoro is the one to impart knowledge about how a pirate should behave within their group; aspects such as respect, roles, and trust are brought up by him when the Straw Hats are in the middle of some inner conflict, as seen during the Davy Back Fight and Water 7. Interesting to note is that Zoro only does this when Luffy, the Captain, isn't the one voicing this out or he is also participating in the turmoil; the exact course of action a First Mate would take, if they ever had one.
  • With Friends Like These...: With Sanji. The two make quite an impressive team... when they're not fighting, arguing, or hurling insults at each other (which is to say, most of the time). Sanji and Zoro don't just argue a lot; they seem to truly dislike each other, never once voluntarily hanging out or having any friendly conversations for the better part of 19 years since Sanji's introduction.note  The best they've mustered is being more or less indifferent to each other. Still, deep down, they respect each other as fighters and would go to any length to protect the other from harm.
  • The Worf Effect: He's one of the strongest Straw Hats and often loses to a character, such as Buggy, Mihawk, Arlong, Eneru, Rob Lucci, Oars & Moria, Kuma, and Isshou in order to show how powerful they are.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Zoro says he fights at his best when using three swords, and there are a few fights where he only has two or one at his disposal and only regains the edge when he has three. Even then, a few of the opponents he loses to have a significant advantage over him where not even having three swords can make up the deficit. Buggy can't be cut at all because swords only disconnect his floating body parts, and he stabs Zoro after his back was turned. In Arlong's case, Zoro is still suffering from the wound he received during his duel against Mihawk, on top of having already fought Hachi; Arlong acknowledges how dangerous Zoro is after seeing the wound and realizing Zoro still defeated his strongest officer in spite of it (the implication being that Zoro could've defeated Arlong himself had he been healthy), so he attempts to kill Zoro right then and there to end whatever threat the swordsman may pose to him in the future.
  • Would Hit a Girl: At Punk Hazard, Tashigi claims that Zoro is holding back against Monet due to a dismissive attitude towards women. But after proving to Monet that he will cut a girl if necessary, he admits that there are things he doesn't like to cut, but if he has to, he will.
  • You Can Barely Stand:
    • After Buggy stabs Zoro, Zoro is bleeding profusely, and is forced to fight Buggy's chief of staff, Cabaji, despite barely being able to stand. He dispatches Cabaji with one attack, and then immediately after, collapses from his wound.
    • During the Arlong Arc, Zoro is still deeply injured from his fight against Mihawk, and is in a terrible position after defeating Hatchan and then fighting Arlong.
    • Mr. 1 is one of Zoro's thoughest enemy because for most of the fight Zoro can't scratch Mr. 1's metallic body, he's and the only opponent besides King to drive Zoro to the point of fearing to lose the match.
    • Also, the Kuma incident at Thriller Bark. Zoro takes in all the pain Luffy had accumulated during his fights with Oars and Moria. The entire area around him is covered in blood afterwards, and Zoro, though still standing and unflinching, looks like he is ready to die on the spot.
  • You Remind Me of X: While fighting the Seraphims, Zoro immediately feels that S-Hawk reminds him of Mihawk, not knowing that he's the latter younger clone.

Alternative Title(s): One Piece Pirate Hunter Roronoa Zoro