One Piece is rapidly approaching its 20th anniversary. Over the course of its epic manga run, the series has featured over 1000 named characters. With so many ridiculous characters and pirates running about on the Grand Line, one signature feature that Eiichiro Oda has used to help them stand out is giving certain characters district laughs or verbal tics. Not every character in One Piece is worthy to receive this distinction, but Oda has managed to give over 90 of his characters each their own distinctive laughs. Some of these have been quick gag characters, others have been lackeys for small-time villains, and still others have been for some of the most important characters in the entire series.
So, we’ve decided to wade through the sea of weird verbal tics and pick out some of our favorite laughs that Oda has graced upon so many of his different characters. Some are weird, others are so iconic we can’t help but say them aloud because they're so catchy and fun to repeat. After a great deliberation and debate we have have selected our favorite laughs from throughout the series run.
- The Laugh: "Shishishishishishi"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 1
- First Anime Appearance: Episode 1
Luffy is the quintessential boy’s adventure protagonist. His fun, carefree and ultimately mischievous nature has turned him into a weird mix of more traditionally un-aging cartoon mascot characters like Bart Simpson or Mickey Mouse crossed over with a more traditional, serialized narrative protagonist like Harry Potter. The "shishishishishi" is the ultimate sign of his generally mischievous and playful nature.
It’s kind of like Oda’s way of reassuring the reader/watcher never to take anything too seriously. I mean, that’s kind of impossible given how generally goofy One Piece can be, but the "shishishishi" is like an invitation for the audience to join in on the fun, like being invited to join in on a prank in grade school or invited on an adventure in the woods. It serves as an open invitation to goof off.
Oda, at one point, said that he made Luffy’s power be stretching because he wanted to ensure that even during big action sequences readers could feel relaxed and not too stressed out. The "shishishishi" laugh is the ultimate invitation of a fun-loving good time for timeless adventure that has long characterized #OnePiece.
- The Laugh: "Zehahahahahahahaah"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 223
- First Anime Appearance: Episode 146
One Piece is generally as far as you can be removed from any resemblance of real-world piracy. Hell, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are probably more historically accurate representations of piracy then One Piece ever will be. Despite all of the ridiculous, zany things we’ve seen over the course of the series, Oda does manage to include some occasional bits of real-life pirate lore.
Usually, the great signifier of whether a character is important is if they have a name derived from a real,life pirate. So, of course, when Oda introduced his version of the most infamous pirate of all time, it’s time to pay attention and take notice. Blackbeard is equipped with easily one of the most fun villain laughs in the entire series. "Zehahahaahaha" is the perfect little anthem to let readers know that shit’s about to get real.
Generally, Oda uses Blackbeard very sparingly as he’s building Blackbeard's myth as potentially one of the final villains of the entire series. Yet, whenever we get to hear the iconic "zehahahahaha," we can always expect some world-shattering villainy that stands to shake the very foundation of power in the One Piece world. Plus, it’s just fun to say; it’s boastful, triumphant and everything you could want in a fun villain laugh.
- The Laugh: "Yohohohohohoho"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 442
- First Anime Appearance: Episode 337
Since very early on in the series Luffy always said that the crewmate he wanted most was a musician. Even over more important things like a chef or doctor, what Luffy yearned for more than anything was bard who could lead him in singing pirate songs. Several hundred chapters of high-seas adventuring later, Luffy finally got his wish.
Brook became the eighth Straw Hat crew member, and his iconic "yohohohoho" laugh is probably the most classically pirate-y thing that the Straw Hats have going for them. His iconic tune of "Bink’s Sake" also goes a long way in resembling something of an actual sea shanty. Like the other laughs on this list, it’s also a lot of fun to say. It’s direct, to the point and the perfect little ditty to accompany the gentleman skeleton minstrel.
7. Jaguar D. Saul
- The Laugh: "Dereshishishi"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 392
- First Anime Appearance: 275
Jaguar D. Saul’s laugh is one of the more sadly poignant laughs seen in One Piece. While most of these laughs are usually weird verbal tics that Oda adds for comedic effect, Saul’s laugh becomes a rather sober touchstone of Nico Robin’s backstory. You see, everyone laughed at Jaguar because he had such a weird laugh, but he didn’t care. When he befriend a young Nico Robin, he told her that she should always laugh, even during times of great stress and sorrow. He even went to his grave laughing as he was frozen alive by Akoji. With his dying dying words, he imparted the wisdom on Robin to keep on searching the sea until she could find people who would accept her.
His laugh is also significant considering how similar it is to Luffy’s "shishishi" laugh — a connection made more fascinating seeing how they both share the middle initial of D. and carry forward the larger mysteries of the entire One Piece serie: What is the nature behind the will of D. Like many of the million of little payoffs that Oda has seeded throughout his manga. The "dershishishi" laugh is potentially a huge one. However, we're still ways to go before we learn if it has a greater significance for the larger series mythos.
6. White Beard
- The Laugh: "Gurararara"
- First Manga Appearance: 234
- First Anime Appearance: 151
Traditionally in Shonen Jump manga, there’s a lot of wordplay and puns. Much of it is difficult to translate in English given the fact that it’s based around Japanese, but occasionally you get something far more simple. For example, White Beard’s laugh is a simple play on the devil fruit he ate, which is the Gura Gura no Mi. Gura gura is the Japanese onomatopoeia for an unstable or shaking sound effect. It’s a simple little bit of wordplay, but it does manage to give White Beard the amount of gravitas you’d expect from such a heavy hitter in the One Piece world.
It’s not quite as fun or as imitable as some of the other laughs on this list, but that’s OK. White Beard has easily one of the most badass and generally tragic arcs in the first half of the One Piece series. He’s represents the end of an era, and it’s fitting that his laugh should be just as old and craggy as the man himself.
5. Scratchmen Apoo
- The Laugh: "Apapapapapapa"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 498
- First Anime Appearance Episode: 392
Back in the Sabody Archipelago arc, Oda introduced the 11 Supernovas — esteemed pirates who’d managed to make it across the Grand Line who would serve as Luffy’s contemporaries and rivals in their goal of attaining the One Piece treasure and title of Pirate King. So far, Oda’s made good on his promise. While not all of the supernovas have received an equal share of screen time, he has continued to ensure that they all get their time in the sun, taking the time to flesh them out.
Among them, Scratchmen Apoo is pretty bizarre. Considering how generally weird many of the characters in One Piece are, that’s really saying something. He’s a strange, long-armed guy who has the power to turn his body into instruments that make people blow up. I mean, his teeth are literally keyboards. His "apapapapapap" laugh is just as weird as him, but it’s just kind of catchy and fun to say and fits his musical rhythmic character gimmick very well.
- The Laugh: "Pikkya-pikkya-pikkyarara"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 700
- First Anime Appearance: Episode 629
Pica is probably the most dangerous and competent out of all of Doflamingo's underlings. He has one of the best devil fruit powers and has the hugely imposing frame to use it. Out of all the top executives in the Doflamingo family, he’s probably the only one who lived up to the hype. Because this is One Piece, Oda had to give him a weird trait to undercut all of his intimidating presence and power, which is why he has super squeaky voice.
Along with his voice we also get one of the weirdest and strangest laughs on all of One Piece. The "Pikkya-Pikkya" is hilarious and even more so in the anime when you actually have some great audio to support the squeaky voice you can only imagine when reading the manga. While it’s not very easy to imitate, it is super funny to listen to, making it one of the best laughs seen in the series.
- The Laugh: "Maaahahahahah"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 131
- First Anime Appearance: Episode 79
OK, so I used to hate Wapol as a villain when I was reading the manga. Then, I started watching the anime series, and I just can’t stop imitating that terrible laugh. It’s an earworm, and every time I find myself doing something stupid or meme-related or accidentally incompetent, I just burst out into that laugh. I think what really did it for me is Wapol’s introduction after the time skip. His costume is just hysterically bad; he looks like a Hanna Barbera villain.
Once the backstory on what he’d been doing was revealed, I just lost it. I can’t imagine a better snapshot of the character than Wapol wandering across the screen looking like a tree monster, sporting his signature shit-eating grin and that god-awful laugh. It goes beyond the usual shonen dynamic of setting up someone who deserves to be punched and then punching them. That laugh firmly marks him as someone so incompetent that, if left to his own devices, he’ll eventually just knock himself out by accident.
- The Laugh: "Shahahahahaha"
- First Manga Appearance: Chapter 69
- First Anime Appearance: Episode 31
Arlong was the first really hardcore villain any of the Straw Hats ever really ran across. Don Krieg really doesn’t count because, in all honesty, he was more of a nuisance than anything else. As such, it’s really only fitting that the first real villain of the series should get his own laugh. And it is perfect for the character. The second you hear it, you know you’re dealing with a villain.
What’s more, you know he’d the kind of villain you should never ever trust under any circumstances regardless of what’s going on. Arlong’s laugh is slimy and overconfident, and every goddamn time he does it, you really just want to punch him in the face until he stops moving. Which is pretty much what happened once Luffy got involved, so it all worked out perfectly.
1. Big Mom
- The Laugh: "Mamamamamamama"
- First manga Appearance: 651
- First Anime Appearance: 571
Big Mom is just terrifying, and her laugh kinda serves to reinforce it. She’s absolutely bug nuts — she eats people for god’s sake. Under normal circumstances, her laugh would be kinda cute. It’d be the laugh of a lovable side character like Kokoro, but Big Mom takes all those adorable old-lady-who-loves-her-sweets tropes and completely subverts them. And all those adorable anthropomorphic objects? Made from people’s souls. The tea parties she hosts? Those can turn brutally violent. All her family and friends she keeps so close? They better stay close, or she kills them.
All of this serves to turn what should be a happy, boisterous laugh and turns it unimaginably creepy. She does for parental figures what Deliverance did for Appalachian mountain folk, except she commands her own goddamn empire, so you better hope she keeps laughing because there’s no escape once you piss her off. And of course, if she does get angry at you, you may end up as a light afternoon snack.
There are more famous chuckles, hoots, and laughs from the Clown Prince of Crime in the video below, and don't forget to check out Movie Pilot Video for more.
So, did any of your favorites make our list? Think we got it all wrong and want to share your favorite One Piece character laugh? Share it with us in the comments below.