5 One Piece parents who failed at parenting (and 5 who aced it)

One of the series
One of the series' most infamous parents, Monkey D. Garp (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

One of the most unique aspects of author Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is how varied the role of parents can be in the series. Fans have witnessed examples of parents being responsible for creating the monsters or saints their children are to parents being totally absent from a child’s life, and everything in between.

Showing such a diverse, wide range of parenting examples in the One Piece universe is an intriguing approach. Despite the tactic's oddity, fans of the series unquestionably appreciate it since it allows for more variety in character origins, goals, and motivations.

Here are 5 One Piece parents who failed at parenting, and 5 more who aced it.


Monkey D. Dragon and four other One Piece characters who absolutely failed as parents

1) Monkey D. Garp

Garp as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Garp as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

Hilariously, Monkey D. Garp had three chances with three separate individuals to nail parenting and somewhat failed all three times. His own son, Monkey D. Dragon, ends up becoming the head of the Revolutionary Army, a group that is diametrically opposed to the World Government and its ideals.

Then there were his futile attempts to turn Ace and Luffy into Marines rather than pirates. Despite the fact that Garp is still a good father figure to Luffy and Ace, his personal goals for parenting the boys were never met. Thus, at least in his own eyes and from a binary perspective, Garp missed out on all parenting opportunities.


2) Big Mom

Big Mom as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Big Mom as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

Big Mom, on the other hand, is an awful parent no matter what perspective you consider on the matter. She views her children as pawns which she can use to improve her standing in the New World, via political marriages or selective breeding with her partners to produce desirable powers or abilities in her children.

Furthermore, as evidenced by the Lola marriage scenario, she is highly abusive towards her children when she feels she has been wronged in any manner. She also lacks the personal integrity and parental love to be able to distinguish between her feelings for Lola from Chiffon’s being her twin, which causes Chiffon to suffer entirely unwarranted physical and verbal abuse.


3) Monkey D. Dragon

Monkey D. Dragon as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Monkey D. Dragon as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

Monkey D. Dragon is a particularly interesting case since he does help Luffy out at the one point thus far in the series where he truly can impact his son’s life. Conversely, this also speaks volumes about how absent Dragon is from his son’s life, only being able to help him at one specific point in his journey.

As the leader of the Revolutionary Army, it’s a plot-based necessity to have him constantly focusing his attention there instead of on his son. It also plays into Oda’s philosophy that an adventure series focusing on a young man’s journey isn’t the right place to shoehorn in parental moments and motifs. Nevertheless, Dragon still fails as a parent due to his absence, even if it is a story-based necessity.


4) Kaido

Kaido as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Kaido as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

Like Big Mom, Kaido is seen going out of his way to be an awful parent to Yamato several times throughout the story. While his goal of making her the new shogun of Wano would seem like something positive, it goes against everything she wants to do in her life.

Furthermore, he’s incredibly abusive towards her, essentially treating her as a prisoner and the island of Onigashima as her cell. She’s constantly chained up, and as a child was even thrown into prison with others deemed traitorous for their incessant support of Kozuki Oden. There’s literally no redeeming aspect of Kaido’s actions or skills as a parent, making him a complete failure.


5) Whitebeard

Whitebeard as seen during the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Whitebeard as seen during the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

Whitebeard is a bit of an interesting case in this discussion, as there are two sides to his “parental role” in the story (more on that later). In the first case, his relationship with his purported son is clearly not the best considering he wasn’t even mentioned until after the Yonko’s death. While the relationship is still technically unconfirmed, this article will assume it to be true.

Some of Weevil’s main motivations thus far have been hunting down those who Whitebeard actually called his sons and was a father to, as well as exacting revenge on Blackbeard. It’s clear that this comes from a lack of relationship with his alleged father throughout his upbringing since the Yonko was busy sailing the seas with his chosen family. In this context, he’s definitely a failure as a parent.


Kyros and 4 other One Piece parents who nailed it

1) Tom

Tom as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Tom as seen in the series' anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

The hearty, always-laughing Fish-man from Water 7 is an incredibly amazing parent to both Franky and Iceberg during their time as children. He supports each of them in his own unique way, complimenting and nurturing Iceberg’s skill while promoting and acknowledging the vast creativity and passion Franky has for shipbuilding.

Even in his final moments alive, he opts to impart a valuable lesson to Franky rather than say final words to his wife, Kokoro. The act absolutely and wholly embodies Tom’s philosophy in raising his two adopted sons and is the mark of a true parent.


2) Otohime

Otohime as seen in the One Piece anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Otohime as seen in the One Piece anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

One of Otohime’s greatest strengths as a parent and in raising her kids was passing on her goals and ideals of human and Fish-man relations to them. Each of her children, despite having varying levels of apprehension towards humans still, all believes their mother’s ideals to ring true in their hearts.

A major part of parenting is teaching your children the morals, ethics, and values they’ll need to live a successful and happy life. In this regard, Otohime soars above nearly every other parent in the series, cementing her legacy of peace and kindness through her children’s continuation of her work.


3) Kyros

Kyros seen being hugged by Rebecca in his human form (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Kyros seen being hugged by Rebecca in his human form (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

Despite being transformed into a toy soldier for the majority of Rebecca’s life, he’s still an incredibly present and significant force in raising and caring for her. Despite not even realizing the soldier is her father, she’s shown to clearly have an emotional connection to him in the very first moments of their interaction with one another.

Kyros’ success in being able to maintain a fatherly relationship with his daughter despite the latter not recognizing him as such says a lot about his parenting abilities. Few characters in fiction can claim such an achievement, and no one else in One Piece can besides him.


4) Cobra Nefertari

Cobra Nefertari as seen in the One Piece anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Cobra Nefertari as seen in the One Piece anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

Cobra Nefertari doesn’t do anything particularly fatherly with Vivi on screen during their time together, but the relationship they have speaks volumes. The two are shown to be extremely close, caring for each other as a father and daughter should.

One of the few moments where you actually see Cobra actively being a “good father” is when Vivi skips her coronation ceremony to say goodbye to the Straw Hats. While Cobra does seem annoyed at first upon discovering Igaram to have been pretending to be Vivi, he quickly brushes this off and expresses well wishes for his daughter's goodbye.


5) Whitebeard

Whitebeard's power was beyond comprehension in One Piece (Image via Toei Animation)
Whitebeard's power was beyond comprehension in One Piece (Image via Toei Animation)

While Whitebeard may not have been the best father to his alleged biological son, he was an incredible father figure to the Whitebeard Pirates. Calling them all his sons, he ran his ship like a family, with practically every crew member feeling the familial bond and themes of the crew Whitebeard tried to foster.

The flashback showing Ace and Whitebeard growing closer to one another perfectly embodies this and shows just how amazing a father he was. Arguably, and especially when considering how many people called him father, he’s the best and most successful parental figure in the series thus far.


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This article was modified on Tuesday, August 09, at 12:44 pm