If a Straw Hat crew member leaves the crew without Luffy’s permission, Luffy does his best to recruit them back. This is how things work among the Straw Hat Pirates, as they are one closely-connected pirate crews in One Piece. They are not a crew with a lot of members, which probably explains why they are like a family. So far, Nami, Robin, and Usopp have left the crew at one point, before returning. Additionally, Chopper and Sanji have been coerced by third parties to leave the crew despite their wishes, with Chopper returning soon afterward. The situation with Sanji, however, lasted for around a week. In this article, we are going to tell you about these events and how they happened.
You’re going to get information on each of the members that left the crew, be it just temporarily, as in the majority of cases, or permanently, as in the case of Nefertari Vivi. We are going to describe the circumstances that led to these events, as well as the circumstances of each of the members’ return to the crew. One common trait will be present in all these stories, and that is Luffy’s unyielding will to keep the Straw Hats together and his willingness to do anything to keep them all in one place.
1. Nami – left during the Baratie Arc
As Luffy tries to convince Sanji to join his crew, Nami flees with the Going Merry after seeing a wanted poster from Arlong, without giving the crew an explanation. Luffy immediately decides to go get her. After recruiting Sanji, Luffy and his crew pursue their navigator to Arlong Park. Despite the fact that she belongs to the enemy camp, Luffy continues to want her as a navigator.
While Nami only has a few cents left before buying back his village, soldiers from the Marines, unfortunately, come to take everything back and Nami knows that Arlong is behind it all. She will then settle accounts with him, but Arlong affirms that he never broke their contract. The villagers confess that they have always known what happened to Nami and decide to take their weapons even though they know it is in vain.
Nami tries to stop them and assures them that she will come back with the sum requested by Arlong. But the villagers don’t listen to him. Taken by a terrible rage seeing Nami crying, Luffy confronts Arlong and his henchmen to avenge her. Arlong Park is reduced to ruins and the village is liberated. Nami then decides to join Luffy to realize his dream: to map the whole world. Genzo tells Luffy that if he takes Nami’s smile away, he will regret it. This is how Nami officially joined the Straw Hat crew.
2. Sanji – left during the Zou Arc
Bege’s crew captures Nami, Chopper, Brook, and Caesar. Inside his body, Bege announces that Sanji is invited to Big Mom’s Tea Party. He will have to marry Charlotte Pudding, the 35th daughter of the Charlotte Family to him, as the 3rd son of the Vinsmoke Family. Sanji is stunned to learn this. He refuses to marry a woman he does not know but Vito, the adviser of the Firetank Crew, blackmails him.
Big Mom will kill everyone Sanji comes into contact with, namely Zeff and the rest of the Baratie as well as Kedetrav’s men. Sanji must have been forced to accept Bege’s proposal. Nevertheless, after he manages to free Nami and the others from Bege’s body, he writes a letter in which he says he will return. He takes Caesar Clown hostage and reminds Bege’s men that his wanted notice says “Only Alive”, that is to say, that they must keep him alive.
Pekoms would later explain to Luffy that, if and when Sanji’s marriage to Pudding is formalized, Sanji would automatically cease to be a member of the Straw Hats and will become a member of the Big Mom Pirates, which is something Luffy cannot accept. However, this turns out to be false, as Big Mom’s true intention was not to recruit Sanji, but to assassinate him and the entire Vinsmoke Family during the wedding ceremony. During the wedding preparations, Sanji, under duress, met with Luffy and Nami acted thoroughly disrespectful to them on purpose, in an attempt to get them to give up on him. Knowing him, Luffy did not buy it, seeing Sanji’s insincerity, and eventually managed to help him to escape without consequence.
3. Usopp – “left” during the Enies Lobby Arc
When Luffy tells him that they are going to separate from the Going Merry because he has become irreparable, Usopp does not accept this decision and decides to leave the crew by challenging Luffy to single combat with the Going Merry as a reward. The beginning of the fight between Luffy and Usopp is very interesting as Usopp overpowers Luffy. He is nevertheless beaten by his former friend in a single blow, due to the fact that he was already very weak before the fight.
After his defeat, Usopp is left alone on the Going Merry and gets kidnapped by the Fanky Family, who want to use him as bait to lure Luffy out. Usopp will therefore explain to Franky that he is no longer part of the crew, because of the conflict over the Going Merry. Franky will be touched by this story and will be taken with a surge of affection towards Usopp.
Later, Usopp refuses to help the crew save Robin, but he returns moments later with the Sogeking mask, claiming to be a friend of Usopp and wanting to save Robin. Only Chopper and Luffy don’t recognize Usopp when he’s wearing his Sogeking mask. Once they arrive in front of the large door of Enies Lobby, Usopp participates in the fight against the two giants.
Once the latter is defeated, Usopp notices their tears and tells them that they had no reason to fight for the World Government because their leaders, whom they believed to be imprisoned, are actually on Little Garden Island. The two giants then decide to join the cause of the crew. Once through the court island, Usopp climbs onto the roof of the courthouse with the rest of the crew.
Shortly after, on Luffy’s orders, he sets fire to the flag of the World Government, at the top of the tower of justice. Once inside the Justice Tower, Usopp goes on his own to find one of the keys to free Robin from his marine granite handcuffs. He faces Jabura, who will defeat him in a few moments. Usopp would not have survived without the intervention of Zoro, who falls from the floor above with his opponent, Kaku.
During this two-on-two, Usopp is handcuffed to Zoro by an unfortunate accident. They will then ask Chopper to find the key allowing them to free themselves. Once freed, Usopp must again fight against Jabura, who was on the verge of killing him, if Sanji had not intervened. Later, Usopp is on the roof of the Justice Tower, and shoots all the Marines in order to cover Robin and Franky, on the Bridge of Hesitation.
He then sends all the keys recovered from CP9 agents. Once on the Bridge of Hesitation, the entire crew must deal with the Buster Call as well as the elite Marine unit as Luffy finishes his fight against Lucci. Once he is defeated, Luffy no longer able to move, it is Usopp who will talk to him in order to motivate him to move, unfortunately in vain. Usopp will be one of the first to hear the voice of Going Merry come to save them.
Usopp is present as SOgeking during the Going Merry’s funeral. Once back at Water 7, Usopp leaves on his own, given that he is no longer a member of the crew. All the while, he is looking for lines to say to his former companions in order to rejoin the crew. He will nevertheless be surprised by Sanji, who warns the others of his intentions. Everyone is excited that Usopp can return, save for Zoro’s remark that he won’t be allowed to return to his teammates until he apologizes.
Once Thousand Sunny, the Straw Hats’ new ship, is about to set sail, the crew is only waiting for Usopp. However, they will be forced to weigh anchor because Vice Admiral Garp tries to stop them. Seeing the boat leave, Usopp gets worried and rushes to apologize, in tears. Luffy will then reach out his hand to him so that he can come back among them.
4. Nico Robin – left during the Water 7 Arc
When Iceburg, the mayor of Water Seven and president of Galley-La Company, nearly gets killed in an assassination attempt. He claims that one of the assassins was Nico Robin, and assumes that the masked man who was with her was another member of the Straw Hat Pirates. An announcement, published in newspapers, accuses the Straw Hats, and incites the inhabitants to seek them.
While the crew hides from the eyes of the inhabitants, Sanji and Chopper find Robin, but the latter refuses to return to the crew and admits that it was she who tried to assassinate Iceburg. The Straw Hats rush to Galley-La Headquarters where Robin and CP9, an elite group of World Government assassins, begin an incursion. In Iceburg’s room, Robin and the mysterious man Iceburg had seen, reveal that they purposely placed the blame on the crew.
When Robin reveals her fears of being abandoned by the Straw Hats due to the danger she brings to them, Luffy orders Sogeking to burn the World Government flag. Luffy declares that they will never give up on him, no matter if the World Government is his enemy. Luffy then encourages Robin to say that she wants to live. The archaeologist shouts to all Enies Lobby crying, that she wants to live and return to the seas with them.
5. Nefertari Vivi – left at the end of the Alabasta Arc
As Crocodile launches Vivi from the ramparts, Luffy and Pell arrive from the sky and catch her. On the ground, Luffy, Pell and Vivi are joined by the other members of the group who have each put up a fierce fight against the most powerful agents of Baroque Works. Luffy leaves to fight Crocodile and the rest of the group goes in search of the bomb which must destroy everything.
With only a few minutes left, Vivi discovers that the cannon that is to fire the bomb is on top of a steeple. On their way there, Billions try to kill Vivi, but Tashigi and some Marines open the way for them. Once at the top of the bell tower thanks to some acrobatics, Vivi defeats Mr. 7 and Miss Father’s Day and cuts the wick of the cannon a second before the firing.
However, she realizes that the bomb has a timer. As she thinks she’s lost, Pell takes the bomb with him, and using his Zoan-type Devil Fruit power, he flies up and detonates the bomb far enough in the sky that it doesn’t make a fuss. Unfortunately, this is not enough to stop the fighting and no one hears her when she shouts at the soldiers and the rebels to lay down their arms.
The fights last until Luffy defeats Crocodile and the rain begins to fall on Alabasta. That’s when they stop fighting out of amazement and it allows Vivi to be heard by all. His speech is confirmed by several people including Kohza, Igaram, who miraculously escaped the explosion of his boat, and a little boy who had discovered some actions of Baroque Works.
Vivi and her friends succeeded. They stopped the war and arrested Crocodile. After their victory at Alubarna, the crew rests at the Royal Palace. After a huge banquet in honor of the saviors of the kingdom and a collective bath in the Royal Baths, the pirates think of leaving. Vivi then worries about the friendship between them.
She hesitates between joining her friends and starting a new life, or staying and fulfilling her duty as a princess. The crew gives her time to think and arranges to meet her at the last port of Alabasta where the Going Merry will pass. Thus, if she decides to continue the adventure, this will be her last opportunity to join them.
The next morning, Vivi prepares for her speech to the people. She has made her decision, she will stay in her country, but she will honor her friendship with the pirate crew. Instead of appearing on the balcony of the royal palace, she decides to make her speech from the port where she has an appointment, and to broadcast it throughout the country.
During her speech, Vivi will ask the Straw Hats if they will remain friends. Luffy, wanting to answer yes, is stopped by the snails and the Marines watching the scene. He then decides, instead of putting Vivi in danger, to respond with a silent sign: the members of the crew line up, and raise their left arm, showing the sign of the cross they are carrying, a sign which indicates that Vivi and Karoo will always be their companions and friends.
6. Tony Tony Chopper – left during the Long Ring Long Land Arc
Chopper and the others come across a mysterious pirate ship after trying to escape a giant wave. Then they arrived on an island inhabited by strange animals. The Going Merry is captured by the Foxy Pirates. After reuniting Tonjit with his horse, they are attacked by Captain Foxy and his minions, who challenge Luffy to a Davy Back Fight, a pirate contest where the stakes are the crew members.
The first round of the Davy Back Fight is a race around the island with tiny boats. In the anime, Chopper teams up with Zoro, but their boat was eliminated immediately. In the end, the Porche’s team wins. Porche chose Chopper as her reward, so he was forced to join Foxy’s crew. When Foxy decided to take Chopper after the first round, the “Race Donut”, Chopper began to cry.
Zoro challenges Chopper, telling him that he must be a man and that he is responsible for his life as a pirate. Chopper immediately stopped crying to show himself brave and ready to endure anything Foxy could throw at him. Then comes the second round. Without Chopper who was supposed to participate, Sanji and Zoro have to face the Foxy Pirates in a ball game, but their opponents keep cheating and the referee pretends not to see anything, which makes it difficult.
Eventually, Sanji and Zoro put their rivalry aside and manage to achieve victory by fighting together. Luffy thus retrieves Chopper, crying with joy. Luffy and Foxy then face each other in the final test: a fight between the captains on Foxy’s boat. Despite the fact that the terrain gives Foxy an advantage, Luffy manages to win and the crew goes back to find the shipwright.