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Let's face it, Eiichiro 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

  • 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.
  • Another far-fetched one: Sanji's a cook, and his nickname is Black Leg. Pata Negra, its Spanish translation, is a world famous type of ham.
    • 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.
  • In Funimation's dub of Episode 121, you can hear a faint "My leg!" during the battle scene in the beginning.
  • 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.
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  • 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 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.


Anime and Manga

  • In Thriller Bark, one of Hogback's minions is a bat with the number 21.
  • 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 Chapter 526 appear some den den mushi that are able to function as security cameras with the lead one having weird looking eyes, very similar to the Rinnegan from Naruto, which grants multiple bodies a shared line of vision.
  • The Dressrosa arc setting is a 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.
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  • Charlotte Pudding is inspired by the female lead of 3×3 Eyes Pai/Parvati IV, who also is a tri-eyed beauty with a split-personality. She also falls in love with a nice guy, to whom she is a Tsundere and she gains the strength from that love to overcome her traumatic past.
  • Katakuri's ability to see the futures enables him to predict what his opponent would say, he does it to Bege and then to Luffy in the Whole Cake Island arc complete with "And your next line is...." Just like Joseph Joestar often does.
  • In Chapter 933, of the Wano arc, Komurasaki says: "The one who falls in love first is the one who loses".

Dragon Ball

Oda is not shy of his love of Dragon Ball, and constantly refers to it as one of the manga which inspired him the most

  • Luffy's surname, Monkey, is a nod to Son Goku, who is based off from the Monkey King in Journey to the West.
  • In Chapter 592 of the manga, Brook is referred to by the island inhabitants as Master Satan, like Mister Satan.
  • In Chapter 619, Neptune pulls off an attack which, down to the arm movements and the effect, resembles a Kamehameha wave.
  • Lao G, of the Donquixote Family, is a bold old martial artist with a long beard, making him similar to an evil Master Roshi. To make the similarities more obvious, Lao G uses a special technique that makes him buffed, exactly like Master Roshi.
  • In Wano, some of the hills that appear in the background are drawn exactly like those in the early chapters of Dragon Ball.
  • Kaido makes his first appearance in the Wano Arc with his dragon form, with a pose very similar to Shenron's iconic one.
  • Oden is one of the manliest characters in the series, and Oda considers Dragon Ball the manliest of the manga. Naturally, Oda makes an homage to the series by Oden wearing a suit with the same color scheme of Goku's iconic outfit.

Fist of the North Star

  • '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', very similar to the bikers seen in Fist of the North Star. Futhermore, Duval is a clear expy of Jagi: both share similar clothing style, have a past tied with the main characters (though is only apparent with Duval) and both keep their face hidden in an helmet. There's another Jagi expy in Daifugo among the Animal Kingdom pirates who wears a similar helmet and leather jacket and fights dirty using two guns exactly like Jagi does in his fight against Kenshiro.
  • The setup of the Impel Down arc is similar to the Cassandra arc: The main character goes to a prison shaped like a tower to free his (adoptive) older brother Toki who is being held within and, in both instances, only that in Loki's case his prison is in the top level while Ace is kept in the lowest one. Just to add futher similarities, in both series the warden of the prison removes the horns from his headwear to use them as weapons.
  • After Franky defeats Senor Pink, the latter cries as he remembers his deceased wife and son, similarly to Toki who cries after losing to Raoh. The references is reinforced by the same paneling and the fact Senor Pink is a combination of manlyness and tenderness, which is a running theme in Fist of the North Star.
  • After years of pollution, the Kuri region has been turned into a wasteland run by the Animal Kingdom pirates, who are dressed in leather and bring destruction everywhere. This condition is very similar to the post-apocalyptic world of Fist of the North Star.

Mecha

Oda is a huge fan of Mechas and his countless references show it. It's not surprising he stated, in case he would still work after completing One Piece, he would draw Mecha mangas.

  • Wapol's wife Kinderella shouts "Universe~!", Harry Ord's Kiai in ∀ Gundam.
  • Pirates Docking 6's scene in the battle against Oars 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, and the Straw Hats combine just like a mecha, or at least, would've had Robin joined as well.
  • In Episode 467, during the Amazon Lily Arc, The art shift made to represent extreme hot blood and Luffy's large spinning fist are reminiscent of the anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, on which the director for that episode has worked.
  • In Chapter 657, Sanji says to Franky "that weird body of yours isn't just for show.
  • Ideo's name, shoulders and overall appearance is based on Space Runaway Ideon, according to SBS vol. 72.
  • For the assault at Onigashima Franky wears a samurai-like suit with a crescent moon on its front, as a send-off to the titular mecha of Zambot 3.


Comics

  • During the time-skip, Franky has built a giant Giant Mecha, Franky Shogun, and refers to himself as "The Invincible Iron Pirate" a reference to the full title of the Marvel Comic character Iron Man.
  • Doflamingo, under the alias of Joker, sells artificial devil fruits called SMILE, whose effects of forcing the people who eat them to perpetually smile are a reference to the Joker's gas from DC Comics. Furthermore, the scientist who produces the SMILE, Caesar Clown, share some common elements with the Joker, right down to a jester-style name.
  • Cat Viper is a huge striped cat and one of his favorite food is lasagna.


Films

Scenes

  • 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 Strong World 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. Scarlett doubles as a King Kong Copy.
  • The dragon the crew encounters on Punk Hazard resembles a Monstrous Nightmare.
  • 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.
  • 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 is 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.
  • After Kanjuro is killed by Kikunojo, in Chapter 986, his body lays on a snowy field while the panel is a shot from abova, identical to O-Ren Ishii's death in Kill Bill.

Characters


Literature

It's clear Oda has a vast knowledge and love of literature with the many classics he homages.

  • Zeff is a chef with a peg leg who used to be a pirate, similar to the character Long John Silver from Treasure Island, one of the most famous pirates in all of literature.
  • Chopper himself and his past before he begun learning as a doctor is a reference to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He was mercilessly bullied by the other reindeers because of his abnormally-colored nose.
  • Chapter 247's cover story page has Wapol out in a snowy town in a none-too-subtle reference to The Little Match Girl.
  • Thriller Bark as a whole is a huge sendoff letter to horror literature:
    • With his stitched body and invisibility powers, Absalom is a mix between Frankenstein's monster and the eponymous character in The Invisible Man.
    • Doctor Hogback is a Mad Scientist who stitches corpses to bring them back to life, just like Dr Frankenstein Frankenstein.
  • Donquixote Doflamingo's name comes from the eponymous Don Quixote, although he doesn't either resemble the character neither has similar personality or views, while his younger brother is named Rosinante, a call back to the name of Donquixote's "steed" Rocinante.
  • Thunder Soldier is a toy soldier missing a leg, exactly like the main character of The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
  • In Episode 455, Soran receives a chocolate bar that looks suspiciously a lot like a Wonka Bar.
  • In the Whole Cake Island arc, we are introduced to characters named Cosette and Epona.
  • The Empty Throne, surrounded by the swords of the old kings, is undoubtedly based on the Iron Throne in A Song of Ice and Fire.


Live Action Series

  • In Volume 95, is revealed that Doflamingo's glasses are a inspired by Kamen Rider Super-1
  • The Vinsmokes are a family of naziesque 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.
    • While on the topic of Sanji's Raid Suit, the fact that it's colored black and gifts the power of invisibility bears a strong reference to Tommy Oliver’s black ranger powers from Power Rangers Dino Thunder.
  • While Luffy, Zoro and Kid makes havoc at Onigashima, one of Kaido's subordinates that appear in the background is reminiscent of a Kaiju that appears in Ultra Q.


Mythology

Classical Mythology

  • Boa Hancock, Sandersonia and Marigold are collectively known as the "Gorgon Sisters". Hancock's devil fruit ability to turn people into stone combined with Sandersonia's and Marigold's Snake-Snake fruit abilities to turn into snakes are collectively inspired by the mythological figure of Medusa, the oldest of the Gorgon sisters from Greek Mythology.
  • Ikaros Much's phobia originates from the death of his friend, Daidalos, who was drehydrated after getting too close to the sun, which, along with Ikaros and Daidalos, are a clear nod to the myth of Icarus, who died after getting too close to the sun and melting his wax wings made by Daedalus.

Norse Mythology

In general, the giants from the One Piece worlds are heavily based off vikings and draws many inspirations from them and Norse myths:

  • Hajrudin's strongest punch, which he uses to send Machvise up against the birdcage, is called Gungnir, the iconic spear of Odin.
  • Hajrudin's ship his is called the Naglfar, named after the infamous ship said to be made from the fingernails and toenails of the dead.
  • The prince of Elbaf is named Loki, who is a Trickster God and said to be a frost giant in some versions of the mythology.

Japanese Folklore

  • The title of the three Admirals before the timeskip (Akainu-Red Dog, Kizaru-Yellow Monkey and Aokiji-Blue pheasant) come after Momotaro's three animal companions (a dog, a monkey and a pheasant). Tama's ability to instantly befriend animals by giving them kibi-dango is also a clear reference to the tale.
  • Oden's character and his death by being boiled alive takes inspiration from the legendary character Ishikawa Goemon who, according to the legend, holds up his son while he's boiled alive just like Oden holds up his retainers.
  • Many member of the Oniwabanshu are named after the Seven Lucky Gods:
    • Fukurokuju, the leader , is named after the emphonimous god, and shares the same elongated head.
    • Daikoku is named after Daikokuten
    • Raijin and Fuujin are named after the gods of thunder and wind, sharing a visual resemblance as well.
  • When chaos erupts into the Shogun Palace, Brook scares the Oniwabanshu in his soul form, which is very similar (and mistaken for) the Gashadokuro, a Yokai with the appearance of a giant skeleton.

Youkais

  • Tenguyama Hitetsu's appearance is based off the Tengu, with his long nosed mask, stilts and fake wings making him very similar to the classical appearance of the Yukai. His name even contains the word "tengu".
  • Among the Gifters in Kaido's crew, one of them appears to be a woman who has eaten a snake-smile, giving her the lower body of a snake, and appears with a pose similar to how a Nure-onna is commonly pictured.
  • While Big Mom chases Nami's group at Onigashima, she brings to life many objects, which grow eyes and become animated similarly to some Youkai. In particular, among them there's a living umbrella, which is like the Karakasa, a famous Youkai, and one similar to the Nurikabe, a living wall.


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 Napoléon 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 subjects 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".
  • Belo Betty's topless appearance, flag carrying and waving, rallying based abilities, and being a revolutionary make her one big shout out to the central figure in the painting Liberty Leading the People known as Marianne. In the painting, Marianne the main figure leading the people is a topless woman holding the flag of the French Revolution who personifies the concept and Goddess of Liberty.
  • 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 art style. 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.
  • Kyoshiro as well shares an art-style similar to an Ukiyo-e painting, making him stand out among One Piece's usual cartoonish art-style.
  • To escape from Kawamatsu, Kanjuro draws a crane identical to those drawn in many famous Ukiyo-e paintings.


Music

Artists Caricatures

  • Lafitte's appearance is modeled after Marilyn Manson.
  • Oda himself states that Eneru's appearance, right down to the bandana he wears, is modeled after Eminem, which he's a fan of.
  • Basil Hawkins' look is modeled after Joey Jordison.
  • Diamante's look is based off Aerosmith 's singer Steven Tyler, and he even holds a microphone when he enters the Corrida Colosseum, shouting like a singer in a concert.

Songs/Music videos/Names

  • Aside of the name, during the Thriller Bark arc, some zombies suddenly begin to dance just like in Thriller 's famous song video.
  • Diamond Jozu is a reference to the old American folk song Diamond Joe, especially with his "diamond studded jaw".
  • Chapter 572 is titled "The Times They Are A-Changin'".
  • 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.
  • Nearly 600 chapters after his meeting with Luffy, Gaimon reappears in a cover page after the timeskip with a new friend. Sarfunkel. Together, they are Gaimon and Sarfunkel.
  • Killer's Signature Laugh "fafafa" is a reference to the song Psycho Killer by Talking Heads.


Theatre

  • During the party at Onigashima, in the background there are women lying in giant glasses to entertain the Animal Kingdom Pirates, like a famous burlesque show done by Dita Von Teese.


Video Games


History

Historical Figures

  • 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.
  • Orochi's Oniwabanshu, his personal squad of ninja, takes inspiration from the Oniwaban, a group of security guards and spies in the service of the Shogun during the feudal era.
    • Oniwabanshu's member Hanzo is named after the legendary samurai Hattori Hanzo.
  • Gyukimaru is a monk who guards a bridge and fight anyone who tries to pass it, stealing their weapon after the fight, something for which is famous Musashibo Benkei.
  • Oden's execution and carriage of his vassals above the boiling oil is a clear reference to the execution of Ishikawa Goemon and his son, and the painting depicting it.
  • Kiku's armor and mask are based off the Kebikiasagiodoshihon-kozane do-maru, a Japanese armor gifted to the then Italian king Vittorio Emanuele II.

Historical events

  • At the end of the Dressrosa arc, 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.
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