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Let's face it, Oda is One of Us, and his work contains tons of references to other works, which can range from literature classics, to movies or even music, real life events and places and historical figures, especially pirates.

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Miscellaneous

  • Chapter 247's cover story page has Wapol out in a snowy town in a none-too-subtle reference to The Little Match Girl.
  • During the Davy Back Fight, Foxy distracts Luffy with a cry of "Look! A three-headed monkey!"
  • Saint Jalmack the Celestial Dragon's cube-shaped air helmet looks a lot like the ones at the end of WALL•E.
  • The maw of Bowin Archipelago looks a lot like Unicron.
  • In chapter 592 of the manga, Brook is referred to as Master Satan.
  • A possible shout out is Brook opening his afro/skull as though it is on a hinge and storing items (namely his Tone Dial) inside, in a similar fashion to Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
  • In episode 467, The art shift made to represent extreme hot blood and Luffy's large spinning fist are strangely familiar...
    • Additionally, one of the Kuja tribeswomen looks a lot like a brown-haired Yoko. Since the director for that episode had worked on Gurren Lagann, it's probably not a coincidence.
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  • This is farfetched but Diamond Jozu might be a reference to the old American folk song Diamond Joe, with his "diamond studded jaw".
  • In chapter 619, Neptune pulls off an attack which, down to the arm movements and the effect, resembles a Kamehameha wave.
  • Nearly 600 chapters after his meeting with Luffy, Gaimon reappears in a cover page with a new friend. Together, they are Gaimon and Sarfunkel.
  • In Thriller Bark, one of Hogback's minions is a bat with the number 21.
  • Another farfetched one: Sanji's a cook, and his nickname is Black Leg. Pata Negra, its Spanish translation, is a world famous type of ham.
  • The Polar Tang, primary mobile underwater base of operations for the Heart Pirates is not only a yellow submarine, but has a significant resemblance to the one used in the film of the song.
  • Anyone else think the giant crab-based submarine the Foxy Pirates use in episode 226 looks a lot like another aquatic animal-based submarine a certain other group of three uses?
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  • Pirates Docking 6's scene in the anime has Franky shouting YATTE YARUZE, and the 'combining beam' is red in color, a motif that shows up in Dancougar, one of Franky's seiyuu's most iconic roles.
  • The dragon the crew encounters on Punk Hazard resembles a Monstrous Nightmare.
  • In Chapter 657, Sanji said to Franky "that weird body of yours isn't just for show.
    • Another one to the original Gundam: in Sabaody Archipelago, after Luffy punches Saint Charlos, Saint Shalulia exclaims in shock that "he's never even been hit by his father", referencing the famous Bright Slap scene.
    • Wapol's wife Kinderella shouts "Universe~!", Harry Ord's Kiai in ∀ Gundam.
  • 'Iron Mask' Duval, leader of a group of Flying Fish Bikers, wields a spear-gun shotgun and complains about the painful scar on his back while doggedly pursuing 'the man who cast him into hell'... a subtle reference to Jagi of Fist of the North Star, perhaps? To the writer's credit, however, the words 'You are already dead' were never uttered. That must have been tempting.
    • Another reference comes from the Impel Down arc, which has a similar setup to Cassandra arc from Fist of the North Star: The main character goes to a prison shaped like a tower to free his (adoptive) older brother whose being held within. Also in both instances, the warden of the prison removes the horns from his headwear to use them as weapons.
  • Oda has loaded the series with nods to real pirates. Crowner? Legend and Wikipedia has it that the notorious pirate Olivier Levasseur, threw a parchment with an encrypted message into the assembled crowd immediately before he was hanged in Saint-Denis on Réunion in 1730, allegedly accompanied by the words "Find my treasure, ye who may understand it!" note  It is furthermore rumored that, since then, many a father's inheritance has been blown on projects of decoding the message and finding the treasure. You can try your luck, since the cryptogram is obviously in the public domain.
    • However, considering that the cryptogram's history is only tracable back to 1923, there is no hard evidence that the message is original, or that such a message existed in the first place, or that Levasseur ever buried treasure. Spoiler indeed.
  • In episode 455, Soran recieves a chocolate bar that looks suspiciously a lot like a Wonka Bar.
  • Corazon, Doflamingo's younger brother, is actually named Rosinante, a call back to the name of Don Quixote's "steed" Rocinante.
  • The Zombie Night disco dance which takes place on Thriller Bark.
  • In chapter 795, Marine Admiral Fujitora quotes Julius Caesar when saying "The die is cast" before embarking on whatever fate the die fell on. note  Would he embark on an illegal action or follow his orders? Like Julius, he performs an illegal act and doesn't pursue the Straw Hats.
  • In the flashbacks to Law's past, Doflamingo bears a striking resemblence to Dio.
  • In Funimation's dub of episode 121, you can hear a faint "My leg!" during the battle scene in the beginning.
  • The Dressrosa arc is a possible shout out to Fairy Tail since it takes place in a land of fairies (actually a race called dwarves) who do in fact have tails. Luffy also fights under the alias Lucy and Burgess goes by Mr Happy Store (Lucy and Happy being major Fairy tail characters) and Sabo bares more than a passing similarity to Natsu Dragneel.
  • Cat Viper is a huge striped cat who enjoys lasagna.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of Oda's favorite movies. Gyoro, Nin, and Bao of Thriller Bark are supernatural child scouts who report directly to the Big Bad, just like Lock, Shock, and Barrel, while Hogback and Cindry resemble Finkelstein and Sally appearance-wise. A more blatant reference is the curly hills on Kuraigana Island, which look exactly like the one in the movie. Also, whether intentional or not, Ian Sinclair's voice for Brook is similar to Jack Skellington's voice.
  • In Chapter 526 we see some snails (which are used for a lot of things in One Piece) that are able to function as security cameras with the lead one having weird looking eyes, which is look a lot like the Rinnegan from Naruto, which grants multiple bodies a shared line of vision.
  • Heck, even the filler arcs are no exception. A 'blink and you'll miss it moment' in episode 334 has a pirate flag that resemble's Kikaider's head.
  • In the Whole Cake Island arc, we are introduced to characters named Cosette and Epona.
  • Sanji's family, the Vinsmokes, are a family of killers who use small devices to change into colorful fighting uniforms while making badass fighting poses.
    • By the same token, the activation sequence of the Raid Suits evokes the Typhoon belt from Kamen Rider, and Sanji acquiring one of the same Raid Suits makes him into something of a Kamen Rider stand-in.
  • In FUNimation's dub of the second opening Believe, it has the line "Dreaming of You" in reference to the song this one was based off of by the same name.
  • The Empty Throne is undoubtedly based on the Iron Throne in A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • At the entrance to Wano, one panel has the waves take the shape of The Great Wave off Kanegawa.
  • Chapter 572 is titled "The Times They Are A-Changin'".
  • Ideo's name, shoulders and overall appearance is based on Space Runaway Ideon, according to SBS vol. 72.
  • Chapter 933 features the line "The one who falls in love first is the one who loses".
  • Chopper's past before he became a doctor is a reference to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He was mercilessly bullied by the other reindeer because of his abnormally-colored nose. However, his nose is blue and, of course, it doesn't glow.
  • In the New World part of the story, Joker, SMILE, and its effects are a reference to The Joker from DC Comics.

Films

Events

  • In episode 115 of the Funimation dub, Usopp gets Mr. 4's attention with a "HEY YOU GUYS!" before firing the finishing shot.
  • Another Funimation dub reference, in episode 15: "Today is the day you captured Captain Kuro."
  • Sanji's fight with Scarlet in Movie 10 is a very blatant one to King Kong (1933): Scarlett is a huge ape who has kidnapped a beautiful young woman (Robin), and bring her to the top of a tower. It ends, however, with Scarlet being knocked down through the tower instead of off of it.
  • During the Dressrosa Arc, Franky fights Senior pink. For the final attack, Senior Pink smashes Franky with a suplex from the top of a tower. Franky survives, but his left eye is damaged à la T-800.
  • During the escape at Impel Down, Crocodile is shot in the head. The resulting hole, the regeneration and camera angle is identical to the scene where the T-1000 is headshotted.
  • On the cover of chapter 641, we finally see Vivi after two years. Not only that, but she shops smart, she shops S-Mart.
  • In Chapter 857, we see that one of Capone "Gang" Bege's past deeds was the decapitation of a horse. Considering Capone himself is a send-up of various Mafia tropes, this is undoubtedly a reference to one of the early scenes fromThe Godfather.
  • Oda is a big fan of Western movies, and the Mêlée à Trois between Trafalgar Law, Doflamingo and Fujitora has the same direction as the Mexican Standoff at the end of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Characters

Art

  • When Giolla uses the Art-Art Fruit to turn Nami, Brook, Chopper, Momonosuke and the Thousand Sunny into pieces of art, they become similar to paintings such as those of Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Brook, in particular, is very similar to Munch's "The Scream".
  • Before Block D's fight at the Corrida Colosseum starts, Cavendish comes into the arena riding his horse, Farul, in a pose similar to Napoleon Bonaparte in the painting "Napoleon Crossing the Alps".
  • Zunisha is a large elephant who walks on the ocean's floor using its very long legs. Resembling the subjets of Salvador Dalí's painting "The Elephants", in which said elephants have abnormally long legs. Just to reinforce it, his name, if read backwards, can be interpreted "looks like Dali's painting".
  • When approaching Wano, the Thousand Sunny comes across a very rough sea, and a splash page is drawn exactly like Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa", with a very similar artstyle. At the same time, when sailing near Wano, a large octopus gets on board. Said octopus resembles the one seen in "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife", another of Hokusai's paintings. The reference to the latter is reinforced by a second appearance of these octopus in the hot springs, cleaning up Nami, Robin and Shinobu.
  • In her first appearance, O-Tsuru resembles a woman in a famous Ukiyo-e painting, right down to the same pose and art-style.
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