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What Is the One Piece and Will It Pay My Rent?

A scarless child Luffy falling for Shanks' trickery in One Piece 1029

It’s the title of the show and no one has a clue? How did this happen? How did every pirate in the world become obsessed with it but not ONE of them questioned what exactly the One Piece even is? This seems like a massive oversight to me.

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Sure, I get that it’s the “fabulous treasure” of Gol D. Roger, but how are we supposed to know what exactly Golly D. considers to be “treasure” in the first place? The One Piece could be his beloved one piece bathing suit. It could be the last piece of his first birthday cake that he’s been saving for sentimental reasons. The One Piece could be “the friends you made along the way,” or some horseshit like that. How are we supposed to trust that the One Piece is actually something of monetary value? HOW DO I KNOW IF I CAN USE IT TO PAY MY RENT? SHOULDN’T THESE PIRATES HAVE DONE A LITTLE MORE RESEARCH? I GUESS “RESEARCH” ISN’T SOMETHING PIRATES DO.

So, what do we know about the One Piece?

Basically everything we know about the One Piece came from the last words of the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. Roger was said to be the greatest pirate who ever lived, so you’d think he’d know a thing or two about treasure—I hope. Just before his execution, Gol D. said that the One Piece is a treasure located on the island of Laugh Tale, and can be claimed by any pirate who reaches it. Laugh Tale is the last island on the Grand Line, and is so named because when Gol D. Roger and his pirate crew saw the island and its treasure, they laughed. This isn’t making me feel hopeful. It’s definitely giving “friends we made along the way” vibes so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if the island was a giant floating mirror or something, and when you see yourself in it you realize that you were the treasure all along. Tell that to my landlord, Gol D. Self-love isn’t gonna pay my rent.

We also know that the treasure was not something that belonged to Gol D. Roger. He discovered it. It was put there by someone, and that someone is the mythical Joy Boy. Joy Boy is a piratical messiah figure who lived during the Void Century, an era in time that is completely lost to history. During that era, Joy Boy is said to have gathered the treasure that is the One Piece and put it on the then-unnamed island of Laugh Tale.

The existence of the One Piece was later confirmed by the words of another dying man: Whitebeard. Whitebeard mentioned the One Piece before giving up the ghost, and said that a “grand battle will engulf the entire world,” and “the world will be shaken to its core” when the treasure is finally found. Maybe my landlord will be caught up in the fighting and forget about my rent this month?

And that’s all we know. The bummer is, we COULD have learned more during the Sabaody Archipelago Arc, but Luffy screwed it up. Usopp tried to ask Silvers Rayleigh (the First Mate of Gol D. Roger) about the nature of the One Piece, but Luffy stopped him before Rayleigh could answer. According to Luffy, learning about the One Piece before finding it would take all the fun out of the adventure. That’s fine for you Luffy, but FUN isn’t gonna pay my RENT.

Okay, what COULD the One Piece be?

My money is one the giant “friends we make along the way” mirror theory, but that’s only because my sense of whimsy died when I started having to pay rent. But I found some other theories compiled by fans whose imaginations have not yet withered and died. Lucky them.

Theory 1: The One Piece is a super weapon

Okay, so get this, in the world of One Piece there are super weapons that were built by an ancient civilization long ago. These weapons are so top secret that the World Government has forbidden conducting any research on them (so they can do it themselves). Two of these super weapons have been found: Poseidon (a really powerful mermaid) and Pluton (a massive battleship). Well, the battleship was lost to history, but they found the blueprints! However, the third super weapon—Uranus—is still missing. Fans believe that the One Piece could be the last remaining super weapon. There is also the possibility that Uranus is something different entirely, but that the One Piece is an item that allows the user to control all of the super weapons simultaneously. This is good news for me. If I get the One Piece, I can use its power to threaten my landlord into letting me live in my apartment for free.

Theory 2: The One Piece is sweet, sweet dosh

Money. Moolah. Doubloons. Bullion. Rubies. Diamonds. Coca-Cola Stocks. Bitcoin. Etherium. NFTs. The One Piece could simply be fat stacks. Riches. Untold riches. This seems like the likeliest and best case scenario. After all, what else could make a bunch of grizzled pirates laugh with joy besides the knowledge that they never have to work a day in their lives again? It could be so much money that Gol D. Roger and his crew could only carry some of it back. Maybe they only needed one piece of it to be set for life. If that’s the case, I’m gonna buy my apartment. And my landlord’s apartment. And a house in the Hamptons. And a rocket to the moon. And everything else.

Related: The 10 Best One Piece Characters on Attack of the Fan Boy

Theory 3: The One Piece is enlightenment

So, we know that Joy Boy was an epic figure who lived during the Void Century. We know that he is mentioned in writings carved onto mysterious stone cubes known at Poneglyphs. We also know that Gol D. Roger and his crew found a message from Joy Boy on Laugh Tale that goes into detail about the true history of the world and the Void Century. Apparently it was a good time to be alive, as Gol D. remarked that he wished he could have been alive during the time period Joy Boy describes. And maybe, just maybe, the message IS the One Piece. Maybe the treasure that Joy Boy left is a message about a time when the world was at its most joyful and prosperous. Maybe that message details how such an era might be able to happen again. Maybe if everyone knew the true history of the world, despotic regimes like the World Government would crumble and people would live together in peace and harmony. Maybe if I discovered the One Piece, I could tell the history of the world to my landlord and he simply wouldn’t charge me rent because we would realize that money and property are imaginary concepts and we would simply live, laugh, and love one another. But unless he gives me my security deposit back, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

(featured image: Toei Animation)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.

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