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The Marine that Jango hypnotized into thinking that he had captured Captain Kuro went on to become Captain Axe Hand Morgan, one of the first villains in the series.
Whitebeard's full name is Edward Newgate. Blackbeard's full name is Marshall D. Teach. If you take Whitebeard's first name and Blackbeard's last name, you get Edward Teach, which is the historical Blackbeard's real name. On a related note, Oda has stated the discovery of one of Blackbeard's ships was what inspired him to make a manga about pirates.
Thatch, Whitebeard's 4th Division Commander, and the guy who Blackbeard killed for the Yami Yami no Mi, is based of an alias the real-life Blackbeard used.
The way Luffy activates Gear Third, by putting a thumb in his mouth, biting into the joints, and blowing to inflate his arm's bones, is visually similar to one of the more common ways Popeye the Sailor would bulk up after eating spinach.
Given that Franky's character design is 50% Popeye with 50% Jim Carrey, this was likely intentional.
In one SBS column for volume 56, Oda answered where each of the Strawhats would live in the real world: Luffy: Brazil, Zoro: Japan, Nami: Sweden, Usopp: Africa, Sanji: France, Chopper: Canada, Robin: Russia, Franky: America, Brook: Austria.
Gecko Moria is the tallest (22'8) and oldest (48) out of all the known Warlords of the Sea, while Hancock is both the youngest (29) and shortest (6'3").
One Piece was originally only supposed to run for 5 years.
Oda based the concept of One Piece on manliness, since Dragon Ball already did everything a kid could be happy about.
Channel Hop: The U.S. dub from Fox to Cartoon Network. The series got higher ratings on Toonami, and they aired the remaining episodes of the 4Kids dub after 4KidsTV stopped airing it and let the license expire. Then FUNimation picked it up and rescued it.
Hey, It's That Voice!: The series is populated with veteran seiyuu/voice actors who have had numerous roles. It's hard not to notice.
Not many people know of Singapore's English dub, done by Odex. Not even Singaporeans. Mainly due to the fact that it only did the first 104 episodes. Even fewer people know that Odex got their license before4Kids did.
TOEIJust Didn't Care: Contrary to popular rumors, 4Kids never wanted to acquire the show. The true reason why it landed in their hands was because Toei desperately wanted to sell a license for their smash-hit One Piece to anyone who would air it on American TV. Thus, when 4Kids came over to Toei with the intent of licensing Ultimate Muscle and Ojamajo Doremi, they wound up receiving One Piece in addition to the two series they were shopping for. They never watched a single episode before agreeing to the deal, and as the masters rolled in, they became increasingly shocked at what they'd gotten themselves into — Toei's control-freaking over the series couldn't have helped. The result of this was overreaction on 4Kids' part (even more than usual), which led to the notorious Macekre.
What Could Have Been: Sanji was originally supposed to be named Naruto, but the launch of that series caused a necessary name-change (it does explain his swirly eyebrows).