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With Tony Tony Chopper now in the crew, the Straw Hats welcome their sixth member. But his introduction comes at a tense time as the crew reaches Vivi's home island, Alabasta, and race to reach the kingdom before Sir Crocodile, leader of the Baroque Works, puts his plan into motion to take over the island with the aid of a civil war he has engineered.

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Alabasta Arc has the following tropes

  • Action Dress Rip: Nami, after she decides to get serious and fight Miss Doublefinger, tears her skirt (which was already shredded by one of Doublefinger's attacks) and unrobes herself.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Zoro saves Smoker (a "hammer") from drowning in Crocodile's lair at Luffy's command, despite misgivings from several crewmembers (himself included). Initially, Smoker seems to be planning on capturing the Straw Hats anyway, but decides to let them go just this one time. While the rest of the crew members are totally stunned by this (including Luffy, who was clearly expecting to end up having to fight him), Zoro can't help but laugh at the pleasant surprise.
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    • Robin, despite still needing to keep up the facade at the time of being loyal to Crocodile, chuckles when Luffy responds to Crocodile's words before their first fight with "Guess that makes you pretty stupid, huh?"
    • And again during their second fight: when Luffy gives himself a Balloon Belly (with water leaking out of his belly button) as "Water Luffy" and contemplates rather comically that he may have drunk too much water, Robin straight-up laughs out loud.
  • Adaptation Expansion: There are a few fillers in the anime of the crew making their way across the desert with Ace tagging along as he tries to find info on Blackbeard's whereabouts. They provide a better explanation of why Ace up and leaves after a while, but also create a conundrum of a bogus Poneglyph appearing where it shouldn't.
  • Agent Peacock: Mr. 2 Bon Kurei. The guy wears swan shoes, and can punch holes in walls with them! He's also an okama who is apparently both man and woman (well, only when he shape-shifts into one; the rest of the time he acts very effeminate) and thus is his own partner.
  • Agony of the Feet:
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    • When Nami tries to hold back Miss Doublefinger with a kick, she responds by firing a needle all the way through Nami's sandal and out her foot, causing her to cry out in pain. Nami, however, claims it is nothing to the pain Vivi is feeling over her country and resolves to win her fight even if she loses a foot or something else.
    • Later happens with Vivi when the wedge sandals that went with her dancer's attire break in the middle of the cobblestone streets because they weren't built for running, but dancing. Vivi's broken sandal flies off and the other one comes loose as she falls to the ground, and she skins her knee on impact. Afterwards Vivi is forced to run around barefoot, and by the time she gives her speech to the capital of Alubarna from atop the clock tower, a close-up of her poor feet reveals the undersides are pretty battered and her toes are hanging off the narrow perch just to add a sense of how risky what she's doing is and the lengths she's going to save her country. However, continuity errors in the anime see her sandals rematerialize out of nowhere when Igaram makes himself known and she rushes down to reunite with him.
  • All According to Plan: During Sanji's "Mr. Prince" plan, Crocodile gets a call from a mystery man who starts taunting him, only to then hear a gunshot in the background and one of the BW agents saying that they caught him (to the horror of the rest of the crew). Vivi then escapes the basement to get help (and try to help Sanji), only for the bridge outside the building to blow up. Sanji then appears and assures her that the plan is running smoothly, even saying the trope name word-for-word.
  • Always Someone Better: Ace is this to Luffy, easily matching Captain Smoker in their first confrontation (compared to Luffy, who was easily curb-stomped). Luffy doesn't really mind, though, and even jokes he could probably take him on now...just as Ace hops on the Going Merry beside him.
  • Arc Villain: Sir Crocodile, a.k.a. Mr. 0., finally takes center stage as the main villain after acting as The Man Behind the Man for a few previous arcs.
  • Asleep for Days: After defeating Crocodile in Alabasta once and for all, Luffy ends up sleeping for three days. Upon waking up, he realises he missed fifteen meals. And promptly eats a mountain of food in a millisecond.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: According to the code of honor of the animals known as Kung-Fu Dugongs, the creature who defeats one of them becomes its master. Luffy defeats about 100. Usopp, however, gets clobbered in mere seconds by one.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • Mr. 0/Crocodile fights as expected of his position in Baroque Works and as a Warlord of the Sea, utterly handing Luffy his ass twice—more times than anyone else in the series so far.
    • Subverted with Nefertari Cobra, King of Alabasta. His Minister of War and Chief of Royal Guards do most of the fighting for him. Though a flashback does show that he's more than able to personally kick the asses of the men trying to kidnap his daughter.
  • Badass Boast:
    • At first Played for Laughs with Luffy declaring "If you're [Crocodile] are one of the Seven Warlords, then I'll be the Eighth Warlord!" No one takes it seriously (especially when he gets owned later in the battle). It's later played straight when Luffy responds to Crocodile's mocking of his desire to be Pirate King:
      Luffy: I'm the man who'll surpass you!
    • Miss All Sunday gives one using her powers to totally curb-stomping of Pell:
      Miss All Sunday: I don't think you understand yet. Power...speed...they mean nothing against me.
    • Zoro finds he can't cut Mr. 1, whose very composition is literally made of steel. Faced with a troubling predicament, he persists anyway:
      Zoro: I'm in a dangerous situation, and danger can force a swordsman to be stronger...When I've defeated you, I will be a man who can cut steel!
  • Bash Brothers: The episode after Ace's debut features him and Luffy taking on a group of Billions together.
  • Batter Up!: Mr. 4.
  • The Beastmaster: Played for Laughs when Vivi casually mentions the desert is home to Kung-Fu Dugongs who take pride in fighting, and follow whoever manages to defeat them as "master". Luffy manages to defeat a hundred of them, and is shown giving them tips on fighting. Crocodile also owns Bananagators — alligators with bananas on their heads.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Not a good idea to tell Vivi that trying to stop the civil war is pointless. She punches Luffy in the face for suggesting it.
    • Crocodile really hates it if he feels he's being made fun of, or taken for an idiot.
    • Don't call Miss All Sunday by her real name (though she becomes fine with it later on once she quits Baroque Works and is no longer using this code name). Also, not a good idea to talk about her Back Story and her other nickname "Demon Child" (largely because the story is embellished). Tashigi learns that last part the hard way.
    • Smoker hates being rewarded for things he didn't do (even if it's a promotion), especially if it's just so that The Government can save face, culminating in him stating over the Transponder Snail, "Tell 'em to shove off!"
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Sanji, with some help from Vivi and Chopper, as Mr. Prince, rescuing the rest of his crew and Smoker from Crocodile's Drowning Pit while outsmarting him in the process.
    • Zoro saves Nami from being cleaved into pieces by Mr. 1, and battles him.
    • After Crocodile drops Vivi off the balcony of the Royal Palace (right after giving her one hell of a Breaking Speech), Luffy and Pell unexpectedly arrive just in time to rescue Vivi.
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: Crocodile installs a bomb with a kill radius of 5 kilometers in the Clock Tower in the town center set to detonate on 4:30pm (giving the heroes 30 minutes to disable it). Even after the shooters are defeated and the cannon is disarmed, the bomb is still set to detonate. Pell sacrifices himself to make fly the bomb into the stratosphere to save everyone in Alubarna. He's shown to have survived at the end of the arc.
  • Blatant Lies/Refuge in Audacity: At the end of the arc, the guards at the palace tell the Marines that the Straw Hat Pirates are not there, just as Usopp and Sanji walk right past them into the palace—and even wave at the guards—while this is taking place. The Marines are helpless against the audacity of the act.
  • Bloody Murder: How Luffy beats Crocodile. Crocodile's power makes him susceptible to liquids, so Luffy uses the only liquid he has handy: blood from the wounds he's received.
  • Blown Across the Room: More like blown through several buildings, which is how Nami manages to defeat Miss Doublefinger.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • Luffy's final battle with Crocodile in the 4Kids dub doesn't feature him using blood, but his sweat instead.
    • The anime and English publication of the manga try to censor out references to Mr. 2 Bon Kurei being an okama (cross-dresser/transvestite) by changing the kanji on the back of his coat, slightly adjusting the name of his fighting style from "Okama Way" to "Oh Come My Way", and changing the reason he doesn't have a female partner: instead of it being because he considers himself both a man and a woman (original manga), it's because he doesn't want one (anime and English manga).
  • Book-Ends:
    • The arc starts and ends with Mr. 2 Bon Kurei meeting the Straw Hats off the coast of Alabasta. At the beginning, he's a genuinely pleasant guy who hides his villainy because he's off the clock (not realizing they're his enemies), and at the end, he has a Heel–Face Turn and makes a Heroic Sacrifice to steer the Marines' attention away.
    • Additionally, before the crew arrives in Alabasta, they create a safeguard to protect themselves from the aforementioned Mr. 2, an X-shaped mark on their left arms, which Luffy states is a sign of their fellowship. As the crew is leaving, Vivi explains why she can't come with them, but asks if they'll count her as a friend if they meet again in the future; since they don't want to verbally answer for fear of making her a criminal, they instead worldlessly raise their marked arms in the air to confirm that they're still True Companions, and she and Carue raise theirs as well in response. (This is the current page image of One Piece's Heartwarming Moments.)
    • Many of Alabasta's wildlife that the Straw Hats encounter, in particular the Kung-Fu Dugongs, are seen again in the anime as Vivi returns to her palace.
    • Even more broadly: At the beginning of Vivi's time with the Straw Hats, Nico Robin (then Miss All Sunday) snuck on board as they left Whiskey Peak. At the end of the arc, she sneaks on board again, this time to join the crew.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • This arc really is tough on Vivi as she watches her homeland be torn apart by war and is openly mocked by Crocodile for her futility in trying to stop it. It gets to the point that she completely snaps when Pell seemingly dies and her people still trying to kill each other.
    • Tashigi likewise has her sense of justice shaken after the end of the war.
  • Breaking Speech: Crocodile delivers a scathing one to Vivi while choking the life out of her over a balcony, just to twist the knife in further after another of her attempts to stop the war fails and he's revealed the existence of a bomb large enough to destroy the town center, before he decides to kill her:
    Crocodile: "You can stop the war this way, You can stop the war that way..." Wake up, Princess! Your aim is not realistic, and this is reality! Dreams can only be brought into reality by the strong...15 minutes left until the cannon fires, and the reinforcements for the rebellion will arrive soon. Your fate is sealed, along the rest within the blast area. If you told the loyalists about the bomb, you could have saved thousands of lives, even if they're was chaos. You thought you could save everyone? How naive. So in the end, you have lead thousands to their deaths. From now on, no one will know the truth...You have worked for us for 2 years...I thank you for that. So, in the end you have the choice: Saving the country, or rebelling, whichever the foolish ideals...either one will result in more deaths. Listen, Princess, and listen well: You cannot save this country!
  • Broken Heel: A variation: due to all her running, Vivi's sandals break into pieces while she's searching for the Time Bomb that will soon level Alubarna. Bare feet it is, then. On cobblestone. Yeowch!!
  • Broken Tears: Vivi finally gets these after Luffy gets sick of her Stepford Smiler act and goes on strike until she owns up to her own suffering. When Luffy forces Vivi to come to terms with the fact she can't save her country on her own and the Straw Hats are her friends who want to help her, she starts bawling and Nami comes over to hold her.
  • Call-Back: Back in Little Garden, Sanji answered Mr. 0's Transponder Snail call with a sarcastic quip of "You've reached the Shitty Restaurant/Crap Café" before he knew who he was speaking with. Here, when Sanji forces a Millions agent to call the leaders of Baroque Works, he immediately recognizes Crocodile's voice, and repeats this same line so Crocodile will catch on that he's speaking to the same person.
  • Can't Catch Up: When Sanji kicks a giant Bananagator into the air effortlessly, Vivi is further convinced she will be left in the dust with the Straw Hat Pirates. This ultimately serves as partial motivation to stay in her own home kingdom instead of joining them.
  • Carnival of Killers: The remaining Baroque Works Officer Agents.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The X marks. Word of God reveals the final scene that involves them (listed under Book-Ends above) was a last-minute addition, which is impressive.
    • Dance Powder is also another one, as it's responsible for the civil war, and the uncovering of the Baroque Works label reveals the truth about it.
    • Ace gives Luffy a piece of paper, telling him to hold onto it, so that he'll know were he is. It becomes a plot point much later in the series.
    • Sanji's lack of involvement in the action of two previous arcs (Whiskey Peak and Little Garden)—and Baroque Works' consequent lack of knowledge about his existence—pays off in a big, big way in this arc.
  • Characterization Marches On: Luffy can be seen joining in with the other men on peeping at Nami while she's bathing and being subsequently floored when she goes full frontal on them, which is quite odd given that the Amazon Lily arc will establish him as being more or less Asexual. When this was later pointed out in an SBS, Oda gave the Handwave explanation that Luffy was just imitating Usopp. It's worth noting that Chopper does the same thing with the same results, and he's since been shown to not even be interested in human women at all (and as such, has been around Nami multiple times when she's naked), and Cobra also joins in even though his own daughter is in the same bath as Nami, so it's probably not meant to be taken seriously.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Crocodile. Arguably the premier one of the series, as his plan is virtually flawless and has no major setbacks. He has to be personally defeated to ensure that he doesn't win.
    • Miss All Sunday / Nico Robin is another example, acting even more subtly; through sparing her assigned targets, and arranging for Crocodile's downfall.
    • Sanji proves that he counts too in this arc, during Operation "Mr. Prince".
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Vivi. Luffy calls her out on it, too, saying in a situation this serious, it's as good as throwing your life away.
  • Civil War: Finally comes to a head in the middle of this arc, though its cause is more explicitly revealed here: Much of the country is suffering a drought, and King Cobra is blamed for causing it by using Dance Powder, an illegal substance that creates rainfall artificially at the risk of affecting the rainfall of the surrounding areas. Baroque Works are the ones who are actually using it as a cover for their agenda.
  • Cool Old Guy: Toto.
  • Combat Breakdown: By the time their third fight rolls around, Luffy and Crocodile resort to a pure brawl to finally decide a winner. Crocodile is on the verge of having a Villainous Breakdown at this point, which prevents him from thinking straight and using his devil fruit powers for most of the fight, therefore giving Luffy an advantage, and arguably allowing him to win.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Frighteningly, every battle Miss All Sunday has ends up this way; she does this to Pell and to Tashigi.
    • Sanji does this to Mr. 3 (offscreen) when he acts like a douche and throws away the key to the cage containing the Straw Hats and Smoker, and then forces him to use his wax powers to make a new key. After he does, Sanji knocks him out as "thanks".
  • Crazy-Prepared: Crocodile shows off a lot of foresight here. He expects the crew to have a safeguard upon meeting Mr. 2 (though Zoro out-thinks him on that one); is thorough enough that the Straw Hats can't escape his Drowning Pit; plants moles within the Alabasta and Rebel Armies to ensure the war goes on regardless; and ensures that, even if the fuse on his bomb is extinguished, it'll still go off anyway because it's a time bomb (and a big one, just in case). This is even reflected in his final fight with Luffy. When he realizes that Luffy will keep coming after him no matter what, he decides to stop holding back, removing the gold covering of his hook to reveal the poison hook beneath. And if that hook is broken, he can eject a knife in its place.
  • David vs. Goliath: Every single one of the Strawhats' one-on-one battles with Baroque Works, from Luffy vs. Crocodile on down (possibly except for Sanji vs. Mr. 2, which is more of a Mirror Match with a few gimmicks tossed in to stretch out the tension).
  • Death's Hourglass: During the first round of their fight, Crocodile contemptuously throws an hourglass with three minutes' worth of sand in it at Luffy. Cleverly enough, the story averts the usual Magic Countdown; the hourglass runs out off-screen, by which point Crocodile is already delivering the mother of all Curbstomp Battles on Luffy.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Nami against Ms. Doublefinger.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Subverted with Portgas D. Ace, Luffy's older brother: Ace, who is stronger than Luffy, briefly shows up to reunite with him and meets his crew, then heads off to handle his own business while they deal with stopping Crocodile. He's strong, but his fire-powers wouldn't have helped much against a guy who can turn into sand. Heck, he barely went very far against Smoker.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Crocodile. He even has an Elaborate Underground Base.
  • Didn't See That Coming / Unexpected Character: In universe and out, no one saw Robin joining the crew coming. Her helping Luffy and betraying Crocodile is something, but at most, it seemingly just makes her a wild card and there's nothing more to her than that. Then the crew leaves Alabasta and she just appears out of nowhere and, BAM, sudden crew member. It was a massive curve ball to the readers, but one full of intrigue as no one knew much about Robin yet, but she seemed to fit in pretty well with the Straw Hats. It helped that she's also The Comically Serious.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Crocodile's power, the Sand-Sand Fruit.
  • Disney Death: Pell, Igaram and Kappa.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": While she's still in BW, Miss All Sunday does not like being called by her real name (Nico Robin), and Crocodile only does so when he's in a very bad mood and feels she's close to crossing a line. The Marines also find this out the hard way.
  • The Dreaded: One of the Marine grunts makes it a point to give Tashigi some handy exposition about Miss All Sunday when they're confronted by her, revealing her real name as Nico Robin and that she's had a bounty of 79 million Berries (on par with Crocodile, whose bounty was frozen at 80 million) since age eight, for the alleged crime of destroying six Marine battleships single-handedly. Miss All Sunday's cool demeanor is soon dropped and replaced with rage, and she begins ranting about how much she hates the World Government and all in their service, deciding not to give any mercy to her Marine opponents.
  • Drowning Pit: Crocodile traps Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Vivi, and Smoker in one, adding Bananagators to the mix as well.
  • Dual Boss: Vivi fights Mr. 7 and Miss Father's Day on her own.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • After coming from Yuba, Luffy tells Vivi that even if they reach the kingdom and stop the war, Crocodile will still find a way to keep it going and she's naive to think people won't die regardless of her efforts. After a brief scuffle, he manages to convince Vivi that she doesn't have to take everything upon herself and that he and the crew are willing to risk their lives to help her. The Straw Hats are actually astonished by his insight.
    • While Zoro is not stupid by any means, he often makes reckless decisions on a whim. He is the one to come up with a two-layered identifying system in which Straw Hats wear a white band around their arms, and to prove they aren't the shape-shifting Mr 2, they can tell each other apart by taking off the white band to reveal an "X" written on their wrist.
  • Dumb Muscle: Mr. 4.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the movie adaption, we see a brief glimpse of Jaguar D. Saul in a flashback. The full flashback doesn't appear until much later after Alabasta in the manga and TV series.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Ace's pyrokinesis and Smoker's smoke Devil Fruit powers cancel each other out. Ace was pretty much aware that this would be the case, and uses the resulting explosion to make a getaway.
  • Enemy Mine: The Marines, especially Smoker and Tashigi, initially try to arrest the Straw Hats. Bit when things start going south for both groups, the Marines call a temporary truce to help the Straw Hats stop Crocodile and the Time Bomb he set up.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Portgas D. Ace is introduced after falling asleep while stuffing himself at an all-you-can-eat buffet, prompting the customers to wonder if he's dead. He then wakes up and wipes his face on a waitress' skirt, then gives a smug smile once Captain Smoker comes in and recognizes him. Though it becomes much less funny later on.
    • The leader of the rebellion chides a child who exclaims that he wants to fight as well and is just as angry as they are, explaining that everyone who joined did so reluctantly and felt they had no choice, harshly concluding that if he understands that he should go home. He then sorrowfully muses that the boy was like him in his youth. That man is Kohza, Vivi's old childhood friend, indicating he has a more nuanced outlook than other rebel leaders.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The deserts of Alabasta are made of this. With the human monsters of the Straw Hat crew around, though, there's a lot of emphasis on the trying part.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Crocodile finds heroism and all it entails disgusting. He is even utterly enraged that Luffy attempts to fight him again and cites his friends as a reason to continue to oppose him. This is because Crocodile is later heavily implied to have been like Luffy when he was younger. His experiences on the Grand Line are what changed him into the man he is today.
  • Fake King: Mr. 2 Bon Clay disguises himself as King Cobra, doing many dickish things in the process.
  • False Flag Operation: The whole civil war is Crocodile's doing in the hopes of causing a distraction as he tries to find where the ancient weapon, Pluton, lies.
  • Five-Man Band: A villainous version: Of the remaining officers of Baroque Works, they are:
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Ace explains to Luffy that he's looking for Blackbeard, who killed his crewmate and left the Whitebeard Pirates. We finally see their confrontation at the end of the Enies Lobby arc.
    • Before Ace leaves, he tells Luffy that they'll meet again "at the summit". When Luffy does actually meet him again in the Marineford arc, it is indeed at "the summit", but certainly not in the way that Ace envisioned.
    • During Crocodile's Villainous Breakdown, he rants as he charges towards Luffy, "the more you experience the sea, the more you let go of your dreams!". Much later in the series, something so terrible happens to Luffy that he briefly renounces his dream of becoming Pirate King.
    • Sanji's Code Name when he calls Crocodile is "Mr. Prince". This later turns out to be more accurate than anyone realized at the time.
    • Nami's frustration at Usopp for misinterpreting her request for a weapon, resulting in what is more of a toy full of magic tricks meant to entertain. Right before the crew reaches Water 7, Usopp designs a Clima-Tact that is strictly for combat (seen in development in the seventh One Piece movie).
    • There's a very subtle example after Luffy punches Crocodile in the face, where Crocodile momentarily wonders "Did he-" before Luffy reveals that he's soaked his body in water. Years later, we learn that what Crocodile thought Luffy had used was Armament Haki, which allows physical attacks to hit Logia users.
  • Good All Along/Heroic Neutral: Miss All Sunday, a.k.a. Nico Robin, saves Luffy's life, if only out of mere curiosity, and tells Pell to aid him in his recovery. Additionally, when she finally comes across the Poneglyph in the Alabastan Royal Tomb, she sees that it has no information on what she wants to discover: "The True History of the Lost Hundred Years". So she decides not to help Crocodile locate Pluton, lies about the contents of the Poneglyph, and instead tries to assassinate him. When that fails, she helps save Luffy's life again by giving Cobra antidote to the poison Crocodile infected him with, which Cobra administers to Luffy.
    • It's easy to miss, and combined with Fridge Brilliance, but this is actually subtly foreshadowed during the "Mr. Prince" debacle. Crocodile is freaking out about a Straw Hat member that BW doesn't know about (Sanji), but there's one BW member who does know about him: Robin, who met him at the end of the Whiskey Peak arc, but clearly never told Crocodile about him.
    • This could also infer that Robin actually allowed Igaram to survive when she blew up his ship. You'd think someone who spent her life as a mercenary would be more thorough with assassinations.
  • Government Conspiracy: The World Government decides it's far too embarrassing to make it public that one of their sponsored pirates went rogue, tried to take over a kingdom (one that's not only a member country of the World Government, but one of its 20 founding members, to boot), and was stopped by freelance pirates unaffiliated with them. As such, they cover it up and give credit to Smoker (the highest-ranking Marine in the vicinity) and Tashigi instead, offering them promotions. They grudgingly accept, while Luffy quietly receives a bounty increase to 100 million Berries, along with Zoro's first bounty of 60 million Berries.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: Parodied. Zoro carries Nami, whose most serious injury is to her foot (which Miss Doublefinger pierced straight though), and is annoyed to learn that she can stand and walk just fine when the Straw Hats assemble in front of the palace. Zoro, in contrast, just finished a grueling battle where he lost 5 liters of blood, which started right after he saved her life.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: The Straw Hats' heroics are kept secret by both the kingdom—so as to protect the royal family (the Straw Hats have no qualms with this)—and the World Government, who doesn't want the world to know that an unaffliated pirate stopped one of their sponsored privateers. They instead designate Smoker as the main hero in the press and give him a promotion, much to his chagrin, while quietly raising Luffy's bounty and putting a bounty on Zoro without giving a public explanation as to why.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Ace in the anime filler.
  • Guile Hero: Sanji reveals his talents as The Strategist in this arc as "Mr. Prince". Figuring out that his entire crew except for Chopper is captured and needs his help, Sanji is able to come up with a pretty good plan to outsmart Crocodile: he calls him on the Transponder Snail and taunts him enough to piss him off, then fires a gun in the air and forces a Mook at gunpoint to claim that he's captured "Mr. Prince", all to lull Crocodile into a false sense of security and lure him out of the building. Sanji then has Chopper pretend to be Mr. Prince and run away in order to get Crocodile even farther from the building, then heads inside himself and blows up the bridge behind him to keep Croc from coming back in easily, allowing Sanji to casually stroll in and find his crew while Croc and the rest of Baroque Works are busy. He even leaves behind a taunting note just to rub it in.
  • Happy Rain: Rain finally falls on Alabasta once Crocodile is defeated, marking an end to the civil war and symbolizing the confusion being washed away.
  • Heel–Face Turn/Heroic Sacrifice: Bon Kurei, after the war, sacrifices himself so the Straw Hats can get away.
  • Hero of Another Story: Smoker's departure from the story after escaping Rain Dinners seems like a Deus Exit Machina, but it actually has a purpose; he dismantles the remaining Baroque Works ships around Alabasta that are using the dance powder, so it begins to rain shortly after Luffy beats Crocodile, quelling the rebellion once and for all.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Even though Luffy is dying from Crocodile's poison, thinking of everything Vivi has gone through through gets him up again, and he starts another onslaught on him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Miss Merry Christmas and Mr. 4, who're defeated by their own techniques and weapons.
  • Hook Hand: Crocodile. It's very golden. It also has something under it, which is yet another hook...which secretes poison. And underneath that is a dagger.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Kohza learns that the whole rebellion was orchestrated by Crocodile, and goes backs to his forces and tells them to stand down...only to be shot by a Baroque Works agent in Royalist disguise, igniting the civil war again.
    • With help from the rest of the crew, Vivi just barely manages to make it to the top of the tower, take out Mr. 7 and Miss Father's Day, and disarm Crocodile's cannon one second before it fires his bomb. Unfortunately, being the clever bastard he is, she discovers that he rigged it to still go off moments later even it isn't fired.
    • Subverted with the "Mr. Prince" routine. Initially, Sanji, as "Mr. Prince", calls Crocodile on the Transponder Snail and basically says "Hey, you forgot one crew member, catch me if you can", giving his crewmates hope that they can be rescued...only for them to hear a gunshot and a guard saying they got him, much to the crew's horror. Subverted in that this is All According to Plan, and the false report from the guard is a Hope Spot for Crocodile.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Luffy vs. Crocodile, Round 1. Not only does Crocodile have his Sand-Sand Fruit powers to rely on (which is a Logia-type), but he knows how to use his abilities to the fullest. And Luffy's fighting him in the desert, where he's nearly invincible.
    • Just Toying with Them: To further twist the knife, Crocodile lets Luffy hopelessly whale on him for a few minutes, knowing that he won't be able to damage him at all. When Crocodile does start to fight, he first teases Luffy with a brief demonstration of his skills...and then just stabs him once he gets the chance.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Miss All Sunday's betrayal sorta works like this: When they reach the Poneglyph for her to translate it for Crocodile, she knows Crocodile well enough to realize that she'll be disposed of after she tells him where the Pluton is. So she tries to take him out first by using her powers to splash a vial of liquid on him to make him wet and kill him with a dagger. Unfortunately, Crocodile sees it coming, quickly dodges behind her with his ability, and impales her through the back with his hook, explaining that he's never trusted her from the beginning.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Zoro eventually learns this (Ittoryu, or "One-Sword Style"); more impressively, he does so mid-battle, and finishes his opponent with it.
  • I Choose to Stay: Vivi decides to remain in Alabasta when offered to join the Straw Hats.
  • I'll Kill You!: From Vivi, of all people, to Crocodile. The guy just really pisses her off.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Both Luffy and Robin end up getting Crocodile's hook through their chest at different times in the arc.
  • Interspecies Romance: Kinda. It's Played for Laughs. Eyelashes the camel only allows Nami and Vivi to ride him. The men are not happy finding this out, and accuse the camel of being a pervert. Scissors the giant moving crab is likewise is aroused by human women, especially when Nami shows her revealing dancing clothing. Even Eyelashes thinks Scissors is a pervert.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Miss All Sunday/Nico Robin resigns herself to her fate as the Royal Tomb crumbles around her and Cobra. However, Luffy unexpectedly finds the strength to move after his battle with Crocodile, and decides to rescue both of them. When Robin protests that she wishes to die, Luffy tells her that he's gonna help her, and if she still feels that way, she should do it after she's saved. This gives Robin the will to live again, and she officially joins the Straw Hat Pirates.
  • I Shall Taunt You:
    • Crocodile never misses a good opportunity to do this. Whether in a one-sided fight against Luffy (in his favor), messing more with Vivi's head giving her horrible Sadistic Choices, or mocking the Marine who had a bad run-in with his partner by verbally dumping on her ideals.
    • A big part of Sanji's "Mr. Prince" plan is rubbing his Spanner in the Works status in Crocodile's face in order to piss him off and send him running around trying to catch him. It works, and it's both awesome and really hilarious. He even leaves a note and a beaten-up Elite Mook behind for Crocodile to find after their escape, which says, "See you later, shitty croc. Mr. Prince"
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: A gun ate a Devil Fruit to become a gun-dog creature that fires baseballs. Poor Usopp has trouble accepting it.
  • Just Following Orders/Think Nothing of It: Zoro gives both of these replies almost word-for-word when Smoker demands to know why the former saved him from Crocodile's Drowning Pit. Zoro himself (and most of the rest of the crew) would have just left him there to keep him from becoming trouble again in the future, but since Luffy asks Zoro to save Smoker, he does so, much to his chagrin. Still, he laughs cheerfully after Smoker lets them go because of it.
  • Kick the Dog: Crocodile to four Red Shirts called "The Duck Claw Squad": they drink a deadly drug which enhances their strength greatly, but is also fatal, in order to be strong enough in that short amount of time to fight and beat Crocodile. He just avoids fighting them altogether, not even considering them worthy of an honorable death, as they collapse and die from the drug.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: Near the end of the arc, King Cobra kneels to the Straw Hats in gratitude for saving his country and his daughter.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A positive example. Despite Captain Smoker having been nothing but a source of trouble for the Straw Hats in the past, and despite not even liking Smoker, Luffy still asks Zoro to save him as the group is escaping Crocodile's lair, since Smoker can't swim due to his Devil Fruit powers. As a result, when the Marines are closing in on the crew, Smoker chooses not to capture them on the spot once he wakes up, and instead lets them go.
  • Literal-Minded: As part of Zoro's lack of direction sense — He interprets being told to go 'north' to reach the center of Alubarna as needing to climb up the Clock Tower. Later works to the Straw Hats' advantage.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: The dancer's wedges Vivi was given as part of her attire are not made to handle abusive running around. The strap on one of the sandals breaks, and Vivi plummets to the ground, causing both sandals to fly off her feet and her to skin her knee in the fall.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Quite literally with Mr. 1, who ate the Dice Dice Fruit, giving him properties of steel.
    • Usopp gets dragged at high-speed by Miss Merry Christmas by his legs, and takes a 4-ton bat to the face by Mr. 4, easily fracturing his skull. And he still gets up and keeps fighting.
  • Madness Mantra: Poor Vivi is so desperate to stop the civil war after Pell's sacrifice that she keeps screaming at the top of her lungs, though her voice goes unheard due to the battle until after Crocodile gets his ass kicked and everyone quiets down long enough to hear her.
    Vivi: EVERYBODY, PLEASE STOP FIGHTING! EVERYBODY, PLEASE STOP FIGHTING! EVERYBODY, PLEASE STOP FIGHTING!
  • Mole Woman: Ms. Merry Christmas, who ate the Mole-Mole Fruit.
  • Mouth of Sauron: It becomes clear that Miss All Sunday has been serving as this for Crocodile when the Baroque Works Agents are brought together for the final mission in Alabasta. A lot of them are visibly shocked to learn that they've been working for a pirate the whole time.
  • Neck Lift: Crocodile does this to Vivi when giving his Breaking Speech, before releasing her and leaving her to collapse to the ground by dissolving his hand.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Mr. 1 is far and away the most grounded and brutal of Baroque Works, completely lacking any comedic traits or even Crocodile's fondness for mocking enemies. The biggest "quirk" he has is a rivalry with Mr. 2.
  • No Sense of Direction: The Marines with Tashigi cannot believe how bad Zoro's sense of direction is.
  • Not So Different: Crocodile and Luffy have a moment of this during their first encounter, both agreeing that those who are naive to war usually get crushed, and without strength, your ambitions fade away. The latter subtly comes up in the final battle, where Crocodile claims that Luffy hasn't got what it takes to last long in the sea and preserve his dreams.
  • Now You Tell Me:
    • In the anime, Eyelashes the camel delivered supplies to the rebels in Katorea before he meets the Straw Hats, and as such, knew they were going the wrong way the whole time. The Straw Hats are rightfully peeved to find this out.
    • A Running Gag with Vivi: she's so used to the dangers of the desert that she forgets to tell her friends about them until after the problem has appeared or been dealt with.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: The Baroque Works' Officer Agents (particularly Miss Merry Christmas) brag to the Straw Hats (particularly Usopp and Chopper) that Luffy was killed by Crocodile. They then argue amongst themselves over whether it was true. They later find out that reports of their captain's demise were greatly exaggerated.
  • Out-Gambitted:
    • Crocodile by Sanji; see Guile Hero above.
    • Mr. 2 and Crocodile by the Straw Hats (specifically, by Zoro's plan): he catches on to the fact that the bandages on each of their left arms are part of an identifying marker (to keep Mr. 2 from successfully impersonating any of them), but doesn't realize that there were two layers to it, the second being an X written under the bandages.
    • Miss All-Sunday/Nico Robin by Mr. 0/Sir Crocodile—they've both been using each other the whole time and plan to kill each other, but when she tries to get him wet so she can kill him, he avoids it and impales her with his hook. Ultimately subverted, as she gets the last laugh by saving Luffy from Crocodile's poison after the former defeats the latter, and Luffy, in turn, saves her life and lets her join his crew.
  • Plan B Resolution: Throughout the entire arc, Vivi thinks the only way to stop the war is to reach her old friend Kohza. Even after she learns that the Rebels have long since left Yuba and Luffy declares that they need to stop Crocodile, she doesn't give up. Unfortunately, all her attempts are sabotaged by undercover Baroque Agents, culminating in Kohza being shot, with it looking like the Royal Army's doing. What actually ends the fighting is, as Luffy said, taking down Crocodile.
  • Playing Both Sides: What Crocodile's coup amounts to; his Baroque Works agents continually instigate bad blood between the ruling family and the citizens, with agents infiltrating both the royal and rebel armies to keep the violence going. When Kohza is about to order the rebels to stand down, a BW agent in the royal army shoots him, with one in the rebels following suit, causing an even bloodier battle than before.
  • Playing with Fire: Ace, who ate the Flame-Flame Fruit (Mera Mera no Mi) sometime after he left Luffy to become a pirate.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After Crocodile is defeated and the Straw Hats make sure Vivi is safe, they collapse from exhaustion and take an impromptu nap on the ground.
  • Punched Across the Room: Luffy to Crocodile in their final fight, hitting him so rapidly that he knocks him through the solid bedrock ceiling of the tomb and straight into the air.
  • The Reveal:
    • Miss All Sunday's real name is Nico Robin.
    • Crocodile's aim is to find the ancient superweapon Pluton.
    • Igaram was never killed by that blast in Whiskey Peak.
    • An in-universe example also happens when Miss All Sunday reveals to the rest of the Baroque Works Officer Agents that the leader of their organization is one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea.
  • Rousing Speech: Cobra gives one once Crocodile is beaten to finally end the war.
  • Save the Villain:
    • Smoker isn't a villain, but he is very much an antagonist to the Straw Hats who has caused them headaches on several past occasions. As Crocodile's basement starts to flood, Luffy tells Zoro to save Smoker, knowing he can't swim due to his Devil Fruit ability. This ultimately works out for the Straw Hats, since Smoker lets them go in return for them saving his life.
    • Likewise, Luffy rescues Miss All Sunday from a crumbling building even when she tells him to leave her behind to die. This leads to her repaying him by insisting that he let her join his crew.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Straw Hats burst into Rain Dinners with Smoker and Tashigi chasing them, as Luffy declares loudly that he wants to fight Crocodile. Miss All Sunday informs the employees that they're Crocodile's "special guests", so they get in a line and direct them to a passage further inside, leading to a pathway that reads "Pirates. This way—->". Smoker naturally follows them, and all of them ran right into a trap. Luffy felt it was "fiendishly clever".
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Mr. 2 Bon Clay tries to invoke this against Sanji, but no matter which of his crewmates he turns into, Sanji still tries to pummel him, knowing it's really him...at least until he turns into Nami.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Brought to the forefront in this arc. The Straw Hat Pirates, and especially Vivi, are idealists. The latter is this to the point that she believes they can still prevent the civil war, but even Luffy is nuanced enough to understand that it's unavoidable, and that they should focus on stopping Crocodile. Baroque Works, however, are led by two global-scale criminals whose experiences in the sea have turned them very cynical. Miss All Sunday shows uncharacteristic rage when a Marine tells Tashigi who she is, and vocalizes her hatred for the WG and its forces. During his first battle with Luffy, Crocodile denounces idealism, and tells him that he is very naive to the true harshness of the sea, taking the time to mock and stomp on any idealistic view he comes across (Vivi's desire to save the country, Tashigi's sense of justice, Luffy's desire to be Pirate King). To that end, Crocodile has created a rebellion so he can take over as monarch of the country and find a way to challenge the World Government, feeling that power is all that's important in the world. Eventually, idealism wins this battle: Luffy decides to hold onto his dreams and defeats Crocodile; the latter's conspiracy is exposed and Alabasta is saved, with renewed faith in its king, as Vivi wanted; and Robin is given a second chance to carry on with her life and is welcomed by Luffy onto his crew.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Subverted. Crocodile, despite being defeated this early in the series, is actually one of the most powerful people in the One Piece world. Luffy really only wins their last fight because he can't and won't give up, something Crocodile can't comprehend, leading to his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Sanji. Since he's the only Straw Hat that none of the members of Baroque Works have met and/or managed to inform Crocodile about, he successfully tricks Crocodile and frees the others.
    • To a lesser extent, Chopper as well. Crocodile does know about him thanks to Mr. 2, but since he joined the crew after the assassins had stopped pursuing them, BW doesn't realize that Chopper can actually fight, shapeshift, or pose any kind of threat; Crocodile just assumes that he's their pet and disregards him. As a result, Chopper is able to assist Sanji with his plan by distracting Crocodile long enough for Sanji to sneak in and save everyone.
  • Spikes of Villainy/Wolverine Claws: Miss Doublefinger, whose Spike-Spike Fruit allows her grow her nails to this extent and make spikes throughout her body.
  • Spoiler Opening: The third anime opening, which came out about 2/3 of the way through this arc, includes Robin (who doesn't join the Straw Hats until the very end of the arc) among the crew members, spoiling one of the series's biggest plot twists for fans who only watch the anime.
  • Spot the Imposter: After meeting Bon Kurei and seeing his powers, Zoro suggests putting a safeguard on themselves so they can tell who's who. This proves to be a wise decision: when Bon Kurei, disguised as Usopp, tries to trick Vivi, he doesn't remove the cloth from his arm and show the X underneath, giving himself away.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Luffy tells Vivi and the Straw Hats to forget about preventing the civil war and focus on defeating Crocodile. Vivi takes offense to that suggestion at first.
  • Supreme Chef: Terracotta, Igaram's wife. She takes it as a personal challenge to satisfy Luffy's appetite. Long story short: she's very impressive, especially since Luffy's been asleep for three days (which he calculates is worth fifteen meals!)
  • Tag Team: Usopp and Chopper against Mr. 4 and Miss Merry Christmas.
  • Taking You with Me: Cobra attempts to seal Crocodile and Nico Robin with him within the Royal Tomb after they reach the Poneglyph, but Crocodile gleefully informs him thanks to his powers, it wouldn't work anyway, so Cobra has only sped up his chances of taking over the kingdom.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Miss Doublefinger's "Tope Doping" bulks her arms up significantly for greater power and gaining blunt force.
  • Third Time's the Charm: It takes Luffy three attempts to finally beat Crocodile. The first time, Crocodile has a clear advantage by fighting in the desert, making victory nearly impossible, though Luffy learns of Crocodile's weakness at the end of their fight. Round 2 has him taking full advantage of this weakness by rehydrating himself and surrounding his body with water, and even taking it in to fight more effectively. He actually would've won that time if Crocodile hadn't revealed another part of his power (drying up the landscape), which catches Luffy off guard. By the time of Round 3, Luffy resorts to using the blood from his wounds to take Croc down, and unlike the previous two battles, this is just a straight up brawl, which Luffy dominates for the most part. Granted, he does get poisoned, and in a testament to how badass Crocodile is, is running on sheer willpower to finish the fight. Luffy still has to be treated once he manages to beat him, and it takes three days to recover from the battle.
  • True Companions: Fuels this arc as much, if not more than criminal conspiracies. Hell, Mr. 2 Bon Kurei (who somehow escaped capture by the Marines) is so moved by this that he pulls a Heel–Face Turn, and acts as a decoy for the Straw Hats for the Marines, eventually getting arrested. Vivi doesn't officially join the crew, but the arc ends with Straw Hats making it clear they're friends for life.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Nami and Usopp go out of their way to ensure they're not The Loads of their group. Vivi shows that she's picked up a few pointers as well.
  • Troperiffic: Absolutely. And it's just one arc!
  • Underestimating Badassery: All of the Baroque Works Agents (apart from Miss All Sunday/Nico Robin) do this to the Straw Hat Pirates. But the biggest one is underestimating Captain Monkey D. Luffy, which even Crocodile does. He hears news of him defeating the Mr. 5 pair but ignores it, can't believe he reached Alabasta, and underestimates his single-mindedness and determination. And all he can do is to bitterly reflect on all of the above during his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • Nearly everyone to Crocodile, but he freely gloats personally to Kohza (who leads the revolution) about it. To turn the knife in, he's such a Chessmaster that when Kohza finally tells his side to surrender and everyone to drop their arms, he's shot by a Baroque Works agent in the guise of a Royal Guard soldier before he can fully explain the situation, igniting the battle again.
    • A point could be made for Crocodile himself being an unwitting pawn to Nico Robin; she uses him as a means to find the thing she's looking for, but has never actually had any intention of helping him. There's also the fact that Luffy is only able to recover and challenge Crocodile again because she saves his life. Then again, he states that he never actually trusted her, and it's clear that he's always planned to dispose of her anyway once he gets what he wants from her. Ultimately, both of them are using the other as pawns.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Crocodile is known to Alabasta as something of a guardian of the country, on top of being the casino owner of Rain Dinners in Rainbase. When Vivi sends a message to her father that he's the man behind the country's chaos, he and Chaka were very surprised, since, at this point, Crocodile is far more popular than the Royal Family, especially with the civil unrest. The climax of the war finally exposes him as the criminal who created the chaos, leaving all combatants very surprised.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Crocodile during Round 3 of his fight with Luffy:
    Crocodile: You're just some rookie pirate who came from nowhere! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?! (rushes at Luffy)
  • Villainous Rescue: Nico Robin saves Luffy's life after he loses to Crocodile the first time and is left for dead. While it ultimately turns out to be subverted since she isn't really a villain (falling somewhere between having a Heel–Face Turn and simply being Good All Along), Luffy and co., at the time, have no reason at all to think that she's on their side, since she seems like an enemy by all appearances.
  • Villainous Valour: Crocodile: he has all his subordinates defeated, his chance of finding Pluton denied to him, and Luffy repeatedly coming back to fight him, and yet Crocodile is still at the top of his game.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Pell and Chaka both have Zoan-type Devil Fruits:
    • Pell's Bird-Bird Fruit, Model: Falcon allows him to transform into transform into a giant falcon. Armed with machine-guns.
    • Chaka can transform into a Jackal using his own Devil Fruit, the Dog-Dog Fruit, Model: Jackal.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Crocodile. He's the first of the Seven Warlords that Luffy personally fights, giving him a battle on a completely different scale than he's ever experienced. Brought home with the chapters "30 Million vs. 80 Millon" and "Level GL"note . Further enforced by the fact that Crocodile is fought by, at various points, Vivi, Chaka, four elite red shirt soldiers, Robin, and Luffy three times. All of the above are very skilled warriors, but only Luffy can actually hurt him in the second and third go-arounds, and only in the third fight does he actually win by the skin of his teeth and a lot of luck.
  • War Arc: The second half, at least as the civil war reaches its peak.
  • We All Die Someday: Luffy provides a variation during an argument with Vivi, as he harshly but rightfully points out that it's naive to hope everyone involved in a war will survive.
  • Wham Line:
    • "There is a question I'd like to ask you, King: Where is the Pluton?"
    • "It's a fight, I should be prepared for anything...Even if the cannon fails at the time shooter's time, 'then the bomb is already timed to explode a few seconds later!"
    • "I came to say goodbye!" from Vivi, revealing that she won't be joining the crew.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Crocodile is not happy at all that Luffy returnsnote  yet againnote  to stop him.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Pell—having previously established himself as a badass—gets completely owned by Miss All Sunday.
    • This also, of course, occurs to Luffy (twice) by Crocodile.
  • Would Hit a Girl: One of the few times Luffy does do this, and to Vivi no less. But only to prove a point.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Mr. 1 and Miss Doublefinger to the boy who manages to stumble upon Mr. 2 in his Cobra disguise, both to keep him silent and ignite the Rebels to attack Alubarna. The child gets better and manages to tell everyone what happened, but only when the war is finally over.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Warusagi Birds pretend they are dead to steal the belongings from unsuspecting travelers.

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