‘One Piece’: The Meaning Behind “Shanks D. Snitch” Explained!

One Piece: The Meaning Behind "Shanks D. Snitch" Explained!

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Everyone knows that Shanks is one of the best characters from Oda’s One Piece series. And while Shanks’ story has yet to be fully revealed, the recent events in the series are slowly heading toward some big revelations regarding one of the franchise’s best and most popular characters. But, this article is going to dig a bit into Shanks’ past and the scene in which Shanks seemingly visited the Five Elders and had a talk with them. That moment, whose implications have seemingly been cleared up recently, was a major moment back then, and it changed how a lot of fans viewed Shanks. In fact, the perception changed so much that he became “Shanks D. Snitch” and in this article, we are going to explain the meaning behind that meme.

“Shanks D. Snitch” is a One Piece meme portraying Shanks as a snitch for the World Government. The name itself is a play on the Will of D., an important aspect of the lore, and the fact that Shanks was perceived as a snitch after supposedly meeting with the Five Elders. He was perceived as a World Noble then, and a traitor, but recent manga events have seemingly proven that it was not Shanks who met with the Five Elders, but rather a relative of his, a member of the God’s Knights and the Figarland Family.

The rest of this article will focus on Shanks and his relationship with the Five Elders and the World Government in general, a relationship that renamed him into “Shanks D. Snitch.” Our main goal in this article is to determine whether Shanks could be a World Government snitch, as implied earlier, and how the nickname was created. If you don’t know the whole story of One Piece, we have to warn you that there are going to be spoilers in the following paragraphs.

“Shanks D. Snitch” was a funny meme, but as it turned out, it was just a meme and nothing else

And while he is well known and is one of the series’ most popular characters, Shanks is likewise one of the series’ most mysterious figures. Sure, we know about his pirate life and the fact that he is one of the most powerful characters in the series, but a lot of his past is still a big mystery, and this has allowed fans to come up with various stories and theories and one of them, which seems to have been refuted recently, was that Shanks is actually a World Noble and an ally of the World Government.

But how did this theory even come into the spotlight? There is a precise moment from the story related to this theory. The moment we are talking about here is Shanks’ supposed mysterious and unexplained meeting with the Five Elders. As fans will know, it is highly unusual for a pirate to meet with the Five Elders in such a manner, especially because they seem to show great respect towards Shanks, even though he is a Yonko and, thus, their mortal enemy.


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And while everyone and their aunts at the time thought that it indeed was Shanks, it has to be noted that Shanks was, in that panel, portrayed without his trademark scar. Sure, Oda himself stated that he would forget his scar from time to time, but the physical resemblance was still amazing. Also, it has to be noted that the Five Elders never called Shanks by his name in that scene.

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Now, we know that Shanks is a very mysterious character, and while he has been an ally of Luffy and an ally of the pirates in general, it has been seen that some of his actions aren’t always… straightforward and that they could be interpreted differently; this is a great thing in terms of character development, but it makes our job all the more difficult.

And while we were pondering Shanks’ alliances, the fandom did their own thing, and this is what appeared out of the blue:

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This is a fake panel, but it became an increasingly popular interpretation at the time. The panel shows Shanks, dressed as a World Noble and his crew, using some characters as his slaves. Someone used an actual panel and simply modified it to show Shanks instead of the original character and also added Shanks’ crew in the background. This was the fandom’s reaction to Shanks possibly being a World Noble.

As you can see, Shanks was “renamed” Shanks D. Snitch, and was identified as a Celestial Dragon (World Noble) and a puppet of the Gorosei (Five Elders). The name itself is a play on the lore, as the D., which is used to represent the Will of D., is read in the same way as “the,” so the actual name is supposed to be Shanks the Snitch, but the D. was used as a play on the manga’s lore. But is Shanks a snitch?

Well, the meme above has, more or less, become a thing of the past, but Shanks’ role in the lore has been debated throughout for a long time, even more when a Silhouette of the God’s Knights appeared, showing a character whose silhouette looked remarkably like Shanks. But, as it turned out later, it probably isn’t Shanks.


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The God’s Knights are an elite unit of the World Government, and they are led by Garling FIgarland, a World Noble, the former ruler of God’s Valley, and seemingly Shanks’ close relative. Shanks had, in the meantime, been confirmed to be related to the Figarland family, and with all the differences we’ve mentioned above, the guy may look like Shanks was actually a relative and not Shanks himself (hence – no scars), which would mean that Shanks is not a snitch. Still, the meme itself was truly great.

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