Tropes A to B (Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole, Arc Villain, Berserk Button, Big Brother Instinct, Bowdlerise) | Tropes C to D (Call-Back, Chekhovs Gun, Cliffhanger, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Deconstructed Character Archetype) | Tropes E to F (Famous Last Words, Foreshadowing) | Tropes G to J | Tropes K to M (Laser-Guided Karma, Moral Myopia) | Tropes N to P (Oh, Crap!, O.O.C. Is Serious Business) | Tropes Q to S (Referenced By, Shout-Out, Superpower Lottery, Surprisingly Realistic Outcome) | Tropes T to Z (Wham Episode, Wham Line)
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.
- Saint Jalmack the Celestial Dragon's cube-shaped air helmet looks a lot like the ones at the end of WALLE.
- The maw of Bowin Archipelago looks a lot like Unicron.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Thriller Bark, one of Hogback's minions is a bat with the number 21.
- The Elbaf giants (and by extension all the Viking-inspired characters) are drawn in a style reminiscent of Vicky the Viking.
- 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 bears more than a passing similarity to Natsu Dragneel.
- When Pica uses his devil fruit to create a titanic stone golem of himself, with broad and spiked shoulders, the golem is based off Vearn's moving fortress from Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai.
- 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. The anime took this reference and ran with it by casting Joseph's voice actor Tomokazu Sugita to play him.
- In Chapter 933, of the Wano arc, Komurasaki says: "The one who falls in love first is the one who loses".
- To end the fight with Black Maria, Nico Robin uses the Demonio Fleur technique that creates a gigantic and demonic version of herself, whose design is an homage to Devilman.
- Luffy's surname, Monkey, is a nod to Son Goku, who is based off of the Monkey King from 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.
- After reaching the top of Onigashima, Luffy finds Kaido and Big Mom waiting for him. However, rather than engaging them in a fight, he passes right through them to check the status of his defeated allies, the Akazaya Nine. The scene plays exactly the same as the Sayan Arc one, when Goku arrives and ignores his opponents, Vegeta and Nappa, to check his allies.
- Sanji and Mr.2's fight ends with the two exchanging a final kick in the air, with the same pose and similar choreography to the first fight between Kenshiro and Shin.
- '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 further similarities, in both series the warden of the prison removes the horns from his headwear to use them as weapons.
- One can draw parallels between Issho and Shuu. Self-inflicted Blindness (Shuu did it to save a young Kenshiro, while Issho did it because he wanted to stop seeing the world's evils), initially fighting the protagonists but then allying with them (Shuu fights Kenshiro to test him, and quickly becomes a solid ally afterwards, while Issho intially fights Luffy's Alliance because he's an Admiral and they're pirates, but eventually pairs up with them against Doflamingo), amiable personalities (Shuu is a fatherly rebel leader, while Issho is a fatherly admiral), and fighting a deep-voiced blonde Darwinistic Sociopathic Villain with a rough past (Shuu fights Souther, while Issho fights Doflamingo. The main difference is movesets (Shuu is a master of Nanto Hakuroken master, while Issho is a sword-fighting Gravity Master), relationships with the Hero (Shuu quickly becomes a straight ally of Kenshiro, while Issho remains Luffy's Friendly Enemy), and whether they survived their confrontations with the aforementioned villains (Shuu dies against Souther, while Issho is still alive and well after their confrontation with Doflamingo).
- 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.
- After getting hit by Luffy, Kaido compares him to the various characters who could hurt him and a panel shows a standing Luffy surrounded by the images of Oden, Whitebeard, Roger, Xebec and Shanks, almost identical to when Raoh sees Ken surrounded by the images of Shin, Rei, Shuu, Souther, Toki, and Ryuga.
MechaOda 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 manga.
- Wapol's wife Kinderella shouts "Universe~!", Harry Ord's Kiai in ∀ Gundam. Also, the shape of Whitebeard's moustache is based on that of the titular mecha's metal one.
- 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.
- Holdem's design pays homage to the titular character from Mirai Robo Daltanious, a super robot with a lion's head on its chest.
- 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.
- During his fight with Sasaki, Franky uses a V-shaped attack, just like the signature move of Voltes V.
- 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. And speaking of Caesar Clown and the Joker, the character also has some similarity to Cesar Romero's portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime.
- Cat Viper is a huge striped cat and one of his favorite food is lasagna.
- Spider's Cafe from Baroque Works arc is based off the titular Bagdad Cafe.
- 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): Scarlet 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 Señor ink. For the final attack, Señor 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, Vivishops smart, she shops S-Mart.
- To add his many mafia references, Bege being stated to cut off animals' heads is a reference to The Godfather, in which Tom Hagen, the consigliere of the Corleone family coerced a target into doing what the eponymous Godfather wanted by having the head of the target's prized stallion decapitated'.
- 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.
- Emporio Ivankov◊ looks a lot like Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Word of God confirms Ivankov is partially based off him.
- Van Augur, the sniper of the Blackbeard Pirates, has a very similar outfit and gun to Adolphus from Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, who is also a sniper with Improbable Aiming Skills. From the same movie, the design of the World Nobles, specially their outfits and ridiculous tall hairdos, are inspired by the King and Queen of the Moon.
- Franky's overall design - namely his face, Hawaiian shirt, and pompadour - are based off Ace Ventura.
- Sanji's design is based of Steve Buscemi's character Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs.
- Big Mom, using Prometheus and Napoleon together, can use a special attack called the Maser Cannon, which is a literal reference to the recurring weapons of the Godzilla series. They even make a ring for the attack similarly to the actual maser cannon's own ring.
- 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.
- Crocodile's name and hook hand are a reference to the pirate Captain Hook in Peter Pan, whose hand was replaced with a hook after it was eaten by a crocodile.
- 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:
- 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.
- Cavendish's evil personality, Hakuba, is inspired by Jekyll and Hyde's duality, with the latter being Henry Jekyll's evil persona who commits crimes at night, just like Hakuba did in the London-esque Rommel Kingdom.
- In the Whole Cake Island arc, there are two characters named Cosette and Epona.
- Perospero, Big Mom's first son, is a man with the power to create and control candies who looks like an evil version of Willy Wonka.
- 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.
- The cover of Chapter 1019 is a Where's Wally? homage with the battle of Onigashima Castle as its subject.
- In Volume 95, is revealed that Doflamingo's glasses are a inspired by Kamen Rider Super-1.
- 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. * 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 Olivers 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.
- 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 dehydrated 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.
- Oden shares a lot of similarities with Heracles, like possessing tremendous strength since infancy, having several affairs with women and being the son of the ruler of their respective domains. Some of Oden's adventures mirror some of the Twelve Labors of Heracles as well, like fighting a giant boar (The Mountain God) and diverting a river to accomplish a goal. Unlike Heracles, who successfully cleaned the Augean stables in a single day, Oden's plan to help the Flower Capital citizens during a great drought ended in disaster.
- Two of Linlin's homies are named Prometheus and Zeus. The former is a living sun with fire powers and shares the name with the human who stole the fire from the gods and gave to the mortals, the latter is a living cloud with lighning powers and is named after the Greek god of thunder. The new homie, made to replace Zeus, is called Hera, like the mythological Zeus's wife.
- 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.
- The title of the three Admirals before the timeskip (Akainu: Red Dog, Kizaru: Yellow Monkey, and Aokiji: Blue Pheasant) come after Momotarō'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 eponymous 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jango's appearance and mannerisms (slender figure, eccentric personality, manner of dress and especially his penchant for walking backwards) are an homage to Michael Jackson.
- Mr. 5 is a dead ringer for Lenny Kravitz, who published an album named "5".
- 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. Doflamingo, another important characters, bears a strong resemblance to Eminem as well.
- 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.
- 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. In another reference to that film, the death of Brooks crew emulates the Meanies destroying Pepperlands musicians one after another until the solo is left to be silenced.
- 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.
- 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.
- During the Davy Back Fight, Foxy distracts Luffy with a cry of "Look! A three-headed monkey!"
- Around the metal that Kidd's pulled in at the end of Chapter 980 and beginning of 981 are a few Meltan!
- The Vinsmoke children are heavily similar to the Dolls from Street Fighter Alpha — in that they were specifically bred, trained, altered to become weapons of death by the leader of a powerful organization (Judge, M. Bison), with only one member who is good (Reiju, Cammy). They also underwent psychological alterations; while the Dolls were made fanatically devoted to M. Bison to the point they literally couldn't live without him, the Vinsmoke boys were literally left without empathy with Reiju only being programmed to always follow her father's orders in some capacity, and both parties suffered. To drive the point home, the gloves of the Vinsmokes' raid suits heavily resemble the red gauntlets worn by the Dolls and Cammy who, unlike Reiju, was able to escape the evil man who influenced her to kill people.
- 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.
- Cavendish's evil personality, Hakuba, killed many people at night in the Kingdom of Rommel, which resembles a Victorian London, referencing the infamous criminal Jack the Ripper.
- Among the fighters of the Corrida Colosseum there's Suleiman, whose name is a reference to Suleiman Reis, a pirate from Ottoman Empire. Fittingly, he later joins the Beautiful Pirates.
- Capone Bege's ship is called "Nostra Castello", with castello meaning "castle" in Italian (a nod to Bege's Devil Fruit ability) while Nostra is a reference to "Cosa Nostra", the biggest Mafia organization, located mainly in Sicily.
- 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.
- 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.
- A large castle located in Mary Geoise, which is where the Five Elders work is called Pangea Castle. Pangea was the biggest and only continent that existed billions of years ago.