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Luffy's two dominant traits are his apparent lack of intelligence and his utter fearlessness. Luffy can easily be amazed by the simplest things, such as hermit crabs, and can be confused by concepts such as that by digging a hole right next to another he may be unintentionally filling the other hole. In addition, during long and complex explanations of something, he immediately calls it magic. He likes monsters and will ask weird creatures to join his crew (as seen in the Thriller Bark Arc, asking a talking tree to join his crew). He also has no knowledge of medicine: when Nami had a high fever he told her to eat cold food and later tried to make Roronoa Zoro better (after battling Bartholomew Kuma) by pouring sake onto him because Zoro likes sake. When attempting to think up a plan to get off of Amazon Lily, while he managed to make some logical sense of where to look, he is seen to strain himself and notes that he is going to feel sick from too much thinking. He is rarely disturbed by violence and bloodshed as he has fought his whole life. Even the worst battlefields rarely disturb him except when it involves a friend or relative as in the case of Ace. He is seemingly unphased by the most horrifying sights such as headless men left after Law's attacks or the extreme violence of Kid.
Luffy's personality is like that of a child's, in the sense that he tends to go to the extremes. He can either be extremely greedy, especially in cases of food, who his crew is, and adventure; or extraordinarily selfless, going so far as to virtually sacrifice himself to avenge or protect his friends, crew, and family. This childish mentality of his allows him to get to the root of the problem, and allows him to figure out the most simple way of solving it.
He almost never gets irritated with normal people, though there are a few exceptions, like when they seem to have an opposite taste in food as he, or when they ask if they can take a look at his "privates". Luffy also has no problem with other people stretching and playing with his rubber body, however, he does get a little irritated if they are doing so while he's in the middle of eating.
Luffy calls every mixed-appearance creature he finds by whichever creature is its secondary (non-dominant) part. On Gaimon's island, the dog/chicken was referred to as a chicken when it was mostly a dog, the snake/rabbit a rabbit even though it was mostly snake, and the pig/lion a lion even though it was mostly pig. This becomes a running gag: later when he meets Bananawani, he calls them bananas with crocodiles attached to them. Also, after seeing Pierre transform, he continued to refer to him as a "horse" instead of a bird. And related to this running gag, when on Long Ring Long Land island, he called every animal by what he thought they resembled rather than the actual species they were.
Another interesting personality trait is that during sailing, he likes to sit on the bow of the ship, such as the head of the Going Merry and the Thousand Sunny, the nose of Rocket Man, the head of the right Yuda of the Kuja Pirates' ship or even on top of the front cannon of a captured Marines' ship.
Luffy's interest in women is a complex matter: in an SBS Volume 54, Oda stated that the reason Luffy acted in an aroused manner when Nami stripped, yet remained neutral when Hancock did so, was that he was with Usopp at the time Nami did so, as Usopp is his age and therefore a bad influence on his behavior. He also hasn't yet displayed any romantic inclinations, having nonchalantly refused to marry Lola and Hancock without a second thought. Luffy also has an indifferent behavior towards marriage. While he knows what marriage is, he doesn't seem to care about that concept as when Sanji was in an arranged marriage with Pudding, he did not care if he got married and only cared more about him returning to the crew. He also didn't object to Absalom trying to marry Nami and only commented on how "brave" he was to want to marry her. Ironically, despite his lack of interest in all things love related, Luffy has earned the affections of many women along his travels (such as Alvida's admiration, the love of Boa Hancock, etc.), quite a few of whom are royalty.
Luffy has shown to admire heroes, though he has stated vehemently that he really does not want to be one, his reasoning more-or-less translating that the definition of a good hero is to be entirely selfless. Ironically, many of Luffy's actions are mostly selfless, with his selfishness mainly revolving around his gluttony and his thirst for adventure. This trait leaves everyone he meets with to think he is some kind of hero, but not by his own design. However, he is easily convinced by Jinbe for his plan of becoming a hero of the Fish-Man Island with an agreement of meat.
Luffy acquired the reputation of a very dangerous person because of his recklessness and even insanity. However, unlike other pirates who have a reputation as a psycho (like the Killer of the Marines Caribou or Bellamy) for unjust violence against civilians or authorities, Luffy gained his reputation for helping his friends in the face of power, usually passing over beyond the bounds of reasoning.
It is shown that Luffy can get irritated when his crew or people around him constantly whine about the dangers they are in that he caused, which is mostly shown in Zou. He would appreciate if people stayed happy and cheery in these situations, like the rabbit mink Carrot.
When his adoptive older brother Ace was killed at Marineford, the mental strain of watching Ace die in his arms caused him to fall into a catatonic state. After waking from this state, Luffy flew into a rage and went on a destructive rampage to vent his grief and anger. Afterwards, Luffy re-evaluated himself and came to the conclusion that he had been too naïve, and was weak and unworthy of becoming Pirate King, falling into a state of depression and self-pity. Some encouragement from Jinbe and Rayleigh gave Luffy some renewed courage to continue pursuing his dream. After the timeskip, he tells Rayleigh that he will be Pirate King, having regained his confidence to fight for his dream.
Luffy is also an extremely heavy sleeper. During the operation to ruin Sanji and Pudding's wedding ceremony, Jinbe could not wake him up even after smacking him hard several times and yelling directly into his ears. Only after he was presented meat, his favorite food, did he finally wake up. Back at Water 7, Luffy woke up when his grandfather Garp hit him with his "Fist of Love".
Throughout the series, several characters have stated similarities between Luffy and other D. carriers, whether in personality, words, actions or presence. So far he is thought to be similar to Jaguar D. Saul by Robin; to Monkey D. Garp by Aokiji, by at least one of the Five Elders, and by his own crew; to Monkey D. Dragon by Emporio Ivankov; to Gol D. Roger by Smoker, Crocus, Kureha, Gan Fall, Shanks, Rayleigh, Kokoro, Shakuyaku and the non-canonical Raoul; and to Portgas D. Ace by Tama.
Luffy also has an extreme thirst for adventure, which he has stated is the main reason he wants to become the Pirate King, having the belief that the Pirate King would be the one on the entire ocean with the most freedom for adventuring. In fact, Luffy rejects becoming anyone's ruler or boss, as he wishes to be free to do whatever he wants and does not want to take away other's freedom. Such was the case when the Straw Hat Grand Fleet was formed; from the start, Luffy refused to become the fleet's boss and instead wanted the factions to be equals that come to each others' aid whenever they need each other.
Because of this adventurous nature, he tends to avoid taking 'the easy way out' at times, such as when he destroyed the Eternal Pose to Nanimonai Island given to him by Robin (Miss All-Sunday at the time), stating that he did not want an enemy to decide his destination.
On Zou when Usopp implied that it may be possible to steal the Road Poneglyphs and get to Laugh Tale without fighting the Yonko at all, Luffy showed a look of extreme disappointment.
He also has no intention of trying to learn what or where One Piece actually is until he finds it himself, and once stated he would quit being a pirate if his crew tried to find out, not wanting to 'go on a boring adventure'.
Luffy has no actual sense of caution and in fact, has been known to literally laugh in the face of danger and walk into potentially harmful situations with a massive grin as, for example, when the Straw Hats approached the Knock-Up Stream and when they decided to board the Rumbar Pirates ghost ship and also when entering Thriller Bark and while descending to Fish-Man Island, Luffy never says goodbye to those he considers friends, in hopes of seeing them again.
Carefree and Optimism
Luffy approaches situations with a carefree attitude, almost never taking anything seriously. In spite of being captain, Luffy doesn't take his duties very seriously, never being harsh or enforcing standards on his crew.
While Luffy can be serious when it comes to fighting or personal matters when it comes to loyalty, Luffy would rather have fun or relax such as enjoying banquets. Luffy would even have one even in personal situations, as Luffy cared more about the banquet at Punk Hazard much to Law's irritation.
Luffy also doesn't appear to take conflicts with others seriously either, as when Judge regarded Sanji's emotions as a failure, Luffy simply thanked him for helping them escape much to Judge's frustration. This attitude tends to get on his crew's nerves, contrasting on their focus on personal and serious matters, mainly with Nami, Usopp, Zoro, and Sanji.
Luffy is also highly optimistic. He always sees the bright side of situations or anything that goes wrong, and takes matters with a smile and an upbeat nature. He even enjoyed having people join his crew as Luffy was eager to accept Sanji's bride-to-be as part of his crew but only if Sanji returned himself. This attitude also tends to annoy his crew, mainly with Usopp and Zoro, in contrast with their pessimistic and serious attitudes respectively.
His simple mind actually saved him against Hancock's powers because he mistook it for a "Noro Noro Beam", which was used by Foxy, which brought out a fear of being slowed down (though it is shown later he is simply immune to her powers, because of his pure heart).
If Luffy finds something he does not understand, even if someone explains in detail, he calls it a "mystery thing"; like calling Dance Powder a "mystery powder". One of Luffy's running gags is asking "non-humans" such as the mermaid, Camie and the skeleton, Brook if they can poop, in which case the answer is usually a yes.
Another running gag is Luffy's slow reaction time, especially to freezing temperatures.
Luffy's simple attitude and naïve comments during fights are often mistaken by his opponents as poking fun at them. Due to this, many of his opponents lose their cool and charge at him in anger.
While he is goofy and reckless, he gets quite serious when anyone is in serious danger, notably his crew, whom he considers his family. Luffy also has the tendency to unwittingly poke fun at an opponent's most sensitive trait, like calling Buggy "big nose", Alvida "the fat lady", Kureha "old hag", and laughing hysterically at Pica's high-pitched voice. In many cases, the opponents fail to understand whether Luffy is serious or just playing during fights due to his bizarre actions like drinking too much water in his fight with Crocodile or punching out Arlong's teeth and using it as a weapon to bite him. Luffy, however, has maintained that he is always serious during fights. In most cases, once he starts to fight he maintains a serious attitude and is only seen laughing once he defeats the enemy or is certain the enemy will be defeated, like in Buggy's case when he laughed before sending Buggy flying in the air.
He does have a habit of holding a grudge, even in dire situations, such as calling Franky a "bastard" in the middle of his fight with Rob Lucci, causing Franky to retort that it was not the right time and refusing to let Crocodile help him escape Impel Down (even when there was no alternative).
Instincts and Ingenuity
It has been stated more than once that Luffy's instinct and behavior are similar to that of a wild animal's, like when he knows who he has to fight before he even gets to the battle. Even his fights show this as he relies on his instincts and counterattacks, which complements the way he views the world.
He is most often seen smiling, except in a fight where he is forced to use all his power (and sometimes even then). Luffy also seems to rarely change personality wise, because he views the world in a straightforward and simple manner. He is occasionally the only person who can see past events that have taken place and realize the true goal, yet at other times he can fall into the simplest of traps.
However, he is a genius when it comes to fighting, such as when he figured out how to defeat Crocodile's Devil Fruit power on the verge of death, how to use Soru from sight, developed a number of effective counters to Enel's "Mantra" ability and, most recently, learning everything Silvers Rayleigh had to teach him about Haki in a year and a half (even though Rayleigh mentioned that two years were too short a time to learn about Haki).
In battle, Luffy has shown signs of intelligence, high tactical and innovative skills. He can easily adapt to hindering situations such as Mr. 3's Candle Lock or Enel's Gloam Paddling into an attack. He also used a mirror to reflect Foxy's Noro Noro Beam attack. During the Marineford Arc, Dracule Mihawk mentions that Luffy seems unusually clear-headed by avoiding Mihawk's attacks. Additionally, during his battle against Mihawk, he uses Buggy as a scapegoat shield to help protect him and move forward towards Ace.
Luffy also has a habit of saying things with a lot more weight and (occasionally) wisdom than he realizes without even thinking or meaning to.
As a person with the middle initial D., Luffy shares the common trait of not fearing death. He will often state that it is fine if he reaches his goal or dies on the way. He even smiled when he was nearly executed by Buggy in Loguetown, although he did have a look of shock and surprise in his eyes before this happened when Sanji and Zoro tried to rescue him.
Even if he is in a bizarre or frightening place, he will instead smile, be delighted, or even laugh. Luffy is brave enough to face even the most dangerous or frightening people, such as the Shichibukai, the Yonko, and even the Marines. He even punched a World Noble, who are known to be in a position that instill fear into others by their mere presence. At Thriller Bark, the encounter with zombies or ghosts did not faze Luffy.
While Luffy is bold and fearless, certain events and people can frighten him, and he can express utter shock as well. When he was a child, he was afraid when Garp would find out about his dreams of sailing as a pirate. He is weary of Nami's temper, as he thought whoever wanted to marry her is brave. He was initially shocked to see Chopper's capabilities to act like a human and his transformations. He was startled when Monet appeared behind him. On Whole Cake Island, Luffy seemed visibly worried when he, his crew, and allies were trapped on the chateau with the Big Mom Pirates.
Luffy also shows significant leadership skills, which at other times he usually lacks and therefore has his captain duties done by another crew member. An example of his leadership is usually present at the most serious and direst times; such as in the Water 7 Arc in which a portion of the Straw Hats, some Galley-La foremen, and the Franky Family are present. Luffy brings the three together by pointing out that they now have a common enemy and should form an alliance to take back what the enemy has taken. Another time could be when he takes on the burden of being a Captain and does not hold back when dueling Usopp, and restrains himself from calling Usopp back afterwards. He also displays this in Dressrosa when Franky voices opposition to Trafalgar Law's plan, getting everyone on the same page by having them assist the Tontatta dwarves in their efforts to overthrow Doflamingo. Crew members also listen to his orders without question when he is serious, all respecting his position.
In the Sabaody Archipelago Arc, Jewelry Bonney comments on how not just anyone could order Zoro around, since Zoro seemed to be so independent and ruthless. Yet he respects Luffy's commands when the time calls for it.
Despite all his peculiar traits and habits (with his trademark dimwitted behavior), Luffy's most defining part of his personality is the ability to make allies out of absolutely anyone (including former enemies, villains and even Whitebeard himself), which is said by Mihawk to be the most dangerous ability in the world.
When other individuals heard Luffy mention that he, his crew, and the people they meet are friends or comrades, it touched the hearts of others who were later grateful to Luffy and his crew and support them, like Karoo, Vivi, Nefertari Cobra, and Fukaboshi. That also applies to Nami and Chopper who later joined the Straw Hat Pirates.
Loyalty and Selflessness
Luffy is willing to do drastic things to avenge and defend those dear to him, even if it means breaking a promise to his friends, such as striking Bellamy down for attacking Mont Blanc Cricket's crew, and punching World Noble Saint Charlos in the face for shooting Hatchan, despite promising not to defy the World Nobles.
Luffy believes that all people should be loyal to their friends, and if Luffy sees anyone betraying their own comrades, he would stand up for the victims (even if they are enemies). Notable examples of this are Captain Kuro killing his own crew, Don Krieg attacking Gin, Boa Hancock petrifying her fellow Kuja tribe members, Caesar Clown using his subordinates as mere guinea pigs, Donquixote Doflamingo treating Bellamy cruelly despite the latter's admiration for the former, and Charlotte Pudding planning to kill Sanji at the wedding and making him believe she loved him. He also wanted to punch Capone Bege for trying to kill Pekoms but put aside this grudge after Jinbe pointed out that they share a common enemy with Big Mom. In fact, on Whole Cake Island, Luffy engaged in a fight against Charlotte Cracker to protect Pound.
Luffy also does not tolerate if anyone accuses his friends of being disloyal to him, as Cracker claimed Sanji would be happy with marrying Pudding and told the "low class pirate" to "get packing" which Luffy found it highly offensive. Sanji even pointed out during his fight with Vergo that he was the type of person Luffy would hate the most due to the vice admiral's betrayal of G-5 and attacking his subordinates despite their admiration for him.
Luffy's apparent selflessness often inspires others to side with him as a result. Notable examples are Boa Hancock, Jinbe, and Emporio Ivankov, who would not have helped him out otherwise, given their individual beliefs.
He also shows respect for things that a person is willing to die for, be it a treasure or a secret, to the point of even fighting to protect that which the person would throw their lives away over. The most noticeable action of this would be when he protected the Gorgon Sisters' secret by using his own body to cover the mark on Boa Sandersonia's back, even though they were trying to kill him. Despite not knowing the story of Dr. Hiriluk, he didn't think twice about throwing himself in front of Wapol's blast in order to defend the integrity of his flag, simply because he knew it meant a lot to Chopper.
Luffy is thus willing to recklessly put his own health and safety at risk to protect those he cares about, even if it means risking death or causing a permanent injury to himself, such as overexerting himself during the Battle of Marineford to save Ace and begging Emporio Ivankov to use tension hormones on him again as he would rather risk his health and try to save Ace, or Luffy will kill himself if he allows Ace to die. Other examples are Luffy repeatedly attacking Noah with Gear Third to save Fish-Man Island, despite rapid blood loss from the injury Hody Jones inflicted on him, and Luffy willing to risk losing his arms to break free from his restraints in Big Mom's cell to save Sanji, after learning Sanji's wedding is a set-up and the Charlotte Family intends to kill him (along with his family), though this was prior to Jinbe showing up to free him and Nami.
Whenever Luffy is seriously injured, he always requests that his friends or allies get treated first, even when he is the one who needs it the most. Nami fell ill while the crew was on its way to Alabasta, causing Luffy and Sanji to embark on a journey to get her medical attention once they reached Drum Island. However, Sanji ended up injured as well when they fought the Lapahns, and Luffy was forced to carry them both on his back while he climbed an entire mountain chain in freezing conditions. Upon finally reaching the summit, he immediately requested that they be saved with no regard for his own condition. The greatest example of this is when in Impel Down, after being severely poisoned by Magellan and getting to Level 5 with an injured Bentham and meeting Ivankov and Inazuma, he begged them to save his friend first even though he was truly suffering the most and in the worst condition (he was actually on the verge of death, and would have certainly died had Inazuma not found them).
Luffy will also go to great lengths to protect his crew and friends whenever they are in any sort of danger or on the verge of leaving his crew, even if it means putting his life on the line when facing obstacles that ensure ideal threats towards him and his friends. When Robin turned herself over to CP9 to protect her crew, Luffy and his crew traveled to Enies Lobby to get her back and declared war on the World Government. After hearing about Ace's upcoming execution, Luffy ventured into Impel Down to break him out while battling through prison guards, jailer beasts, and Magellan. When Ace was being taken to Marineford, Luffy decided to go there to stop the execution while battling an army of Marine soldiers, three admirals, a few Shichibukai, and even the fleet admiral. When hearing about Sanji's wedding to one of Big Mom's daughters, Luffy, along with Nami, Brook, Chopper, Carrot, and Pedro, traveled to Whole Cake Island to get him back despite the dangers of entering a Yonko's territory. When Reiju revealed to Luffy why Sanji refused to return in spite of knowing Pudding and Big Mom's intentions to assassinate him and his family as he was worried about Zeff and the Baratie chefs, Luffy claimed he would go there to ensure their safety, showing that he is willing to travel back and forth to protect those dear to him or his crew, regardless of how far apart they are.
While he desires to become the Pirate King for freedom instead of power, Luffy does have an interest in pirates and is respectful. This was first shown when Kuro loathed the ways of becoming a pirate, which infuriated him and responded that he doesn't have what it takes to be a pirate.
Luffy shows pride of his ship and his flag. During the Long Ring Long Land Arc, his crew spotted a ship without a flag and Luffy was shocked that the ship was "naked". In Water 7 Arc and Enies Lobby Arc, when the Going Merry was beyond repair, Luffy wanted to get a new one and had to break the news to Usopp. When he refused, the two got into a fight, which led to Usopp leaving the crew and only being accepted back if Usopp apologized to him, as Zoro stated that he stepped on Luffy's pride. Luffy is strongly attached to the Going Merry, as while he was giving it a viking funeral, Luffy tearfully apologized on how it fell apart from their lack of care.
Luffy values a flag for what it means, not only for his own, but for other flags, such as nations. In the Drum Island Arc, when Wapol shot a cannon at the flag that represents Hiriluk, Luffy defended the flag and told Wapol that he and his men were nothing but frauds since they did not know the true meaning of the flag. Luffy is also aware of what action will be taken upon if a flag is destroyed. When he and his crew were at Enies Lobby to get Robin back, Luffy asked Usopp (while he was Sogeking) to burn the World Government's flag, declaring war on the government.
The one thing that Luffy does not allow is someone or something getting involved in another person's fight. At these times Luffy shows both remarkable restraint during the battles, and rage when something or someone outside the battle is involved, especially if it is a person he considers a friend. Luffy showed this early in the series when Zoro fought Mihawk, and managed to hold himself (and Johnny and Yosaku) back until Zoro was defeated. Since then he has shown it several times, like when Baroque Works sabotaged the giants' duel on Little Garden; when Crocodile attacked Yuba with a sandstorm in the middle of their fight; when he challenged Aokiji to a 1-on-1 fight; when he fought Lucci and insisted that Franky does not get involved in their battle; when the Boa sisters threatened to break the petrified form of his saviors; and when he was visibly enraged with Hody Jones who attacked some civilians who tried to halt Noah. He even went so far as to cover Sandersonia's back from the citizens of Kuja while it was still burning, even though they were trying to kill him, claiming it has nothing to do with their fight.
Luffy also respects his friends' decision if they choose not to join his crew, even if he asked them more than once, and would prefer not to forcibly take them with him. One example is his declining Zeff's offer to forcibly take Sanji with him, aware of how much the Baratie meant to Sanji, and would only take him if Sanji agreed to do so. One minor exception is the Straw Hats' involvement in using more forcible methods in getting Franky to agree to join only because Iceburg insisted there was no other way due to Franky being too stubborn to listen to reason. This leads to Luffy and most of his crew to help the other members of the Franky Family with their plan, allowing them to succeed in convincing Franky to join the Straw Hats (with some additional help from Iceburg who provided the necessary advice) and seeing the importance to fulfilling his dream. He would also stand up for his friends' decisions, as he defended Lola's choice to run away from an arranged marriage made by Big Mom.
While Luffy prefers to fight his opponents one on one without any interference, he is not above receiving help from others if necessary. On Thriller Bark, he got help from his crew to take down Oars. At the Sabaody Archipelago, he worked together with his crew to take down a Pacifista. At Whole Cake Island, Luffy allowed Nami to assist him in his fight against Cracker. He is also eager to form alliances, as he readily agreed to ally with Law to face Kaido, though as stated by Usopp, Luffy took "alliances" as a sign of friendship. After hearing about Kaido's cruelty towards Kozuki Momonosuke, he formed the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance to take down Kaido and the Beast Pirates. He also agreed to ally himself with Bege, his crew, and Caesar to take down Big Mom since it would also help with Sanji's goal to save his family from Big Mom's plot.
Luffy also has a sense of appreciation and gratitude, as he saved Nico Robin from the collapsing ruins at Alabasta after she gave him a vial of antidote to Crocodile's poison. When he met with Cavendish, Luffy stated he would defeat Doflamingo as a way to repay Rebecca for buying him food though this changed when remembering Doflamingo's actions on the island and wanting to end it. One of the reasons, Luffy agreed to save Sanji's family was because Vinsmoke Reiju saved him twice, first by sucking the poisons from his body and later helped him evade capture from the Big Mom Pirates at the Whole Cake Chateau. Luffy paid her back by saving her from being killed by Big Mom.
After defeating Charlotte Katakuri, Luffy paid his fallen enemy respect by covering his mouth with an extra hat as he heard of the latter's dislike of insults to his face, despite the latter repeatedly trying to kill him and his friends.
Unlike other pirates, Luffy has immense kindness, although he desires to become Pirate King, he is willing to put aside his goal to help others in need.
When Helmeppo threw Rika over the wall of the Marine base at Shells Town when she tried to feed onigiri to Zoro, Luffy caught her and then later punched Helmeppo after hearing him brag about going back on his promise to release Zoro.
During his fight with Morgan, Luffy viciously punched him for abusing his status as a Marine Captain, saying it was destroying Koby's dream of becoming a Marine.
At Orange Town, Luffy defeated Richie and Mohji for destroying Chouchou's master's pet shop that he failed to protect before giving the dog a bag of dog food, the last one from his master's shop. He later battled Buggy to protect the town he was about to destroy.
On Drum Island, Luffy pulled out a buried lapahn from the snow in spite of them trying to kill him earlier, along with Sanji and Nami.
When the Rain Dinners' basement was flooding, Luffy told Zoro to save Smoker instead of himself despite Smoker being a Marine officer and his previous attempts capture Luffy.
At Jaya, Luffy punched Bellamy for stealing Mont Blanc Cricket's gold.
After learning from Hitetsu and Tsuru how many Wano citizens such as Tama had constantly suffered from hunger due to Orochi and Kaido's tyranny, Luffy went out of his way to steal provisions from the Beast Pirates to feed the citizens of Okobore Town while also resolving to restore freedom and prosperity to Wano by personally ending Kaido's tyranny and dominon over the country. This newfound goal led Luffy to put greater effort into becoming strong enough to defeat Kaido such as using his prison labor in Udon as well as Queen's execution games as new opportunities for training as well as training nonstop under Hyogoro's supervision after being liberated.
Due to his kindness, Luffy can be extremely forgiving as he still considers Nami and Robin to his friends, even towards people who had hurt him and his crew such as Bentham, Hachi, and Bellamy. He was also willing to forgive Usopp and let him rejoin the crew, though he was reminded by Zoro that he had to earn his way back and when he did, Luffy instantly took him back. He even already forgave Sanji after he brutalized and insulted him, realizing it was all lies and was forced to do it.
Like Sanji and Franky, Luffy is not afraid to show his emotions.
When he was a child, he cried when Shanks sacrificed his arm to save him and mourn Sabo's presumed death along with Ace. After his fight with Usopp at Water 7, Luffy shed tears after their duel and cried in joy when Usopp apologetically cried of wanting to join them again. As Luffy and his crew gave the Going Merry a viking funeral after the invasion of Enies Lobby, Luffy tearfully apologizes for how terrible they had taken care of it. When Bartholomew Kuma separated his crew one by one, Luffy went to tears of losing them all. After Ace's death, Luffy had a mental breakdown and grieved greatly after returning to Amazon Lily, where Luffy went on a rampage before deeming himself too weak and unfit to be the Pirate King. At the Corrida Colosseum, he cried and hugged Sabo after finding out he was still alive. When Pudding told him and his party that Sanji refused to marry her, Luffy was shocked before crying in joy to know that he did want to be with them again.
Luffy is also known to be hot-headed, but he is able to retain self-control and reserve himself. Main examples are with his fights with Bellamy, Crocodile, Enel, Rob Lucci, Charlos, Hody Jones, Caesar Clown, Donquixote Doflamingo, and Charlotte Cracker.
Luffy, despite his carefree nature, has a righteous heart and respects the difference of right and wrong. He completely despises cruelty and wickedness and will assault anyone who indulges in such actions, no matter what the consequences may be. However, he tries not to hurt civilians, especially the people he likes, even if they intend to do harm to him, preferring to run from them instead.
When he learned of Arlong's abusive emotional torment towards Nami, he was utterly enraged and wasted no time in destroying the room of maps that Arlong forced Nami to work in for years.
When Hatchan was sadistically shot by Charlos and tried to shoot Hatchan again despite Hatchan's attempts to protect him, Luffy's anger reached its peak and was perfectly content to invoke an Admiral's attack by punching Charlos in the face without any mercy.
On Fish-Man Island, Luffy fought Hody to protect his friends and the people of Fish-Man Island as well as to stop his plan to destroy the island.
At Punk Hazard, when Luffy learned from Momonosuke about Caesar's evil intentions to sacrifice innocent children just to realize his own scientific ambitions for everlasting glory and success in gigantification, Luffy openly expressed immense fury towards Caesar. When he heard from Caesar about how he exploited Punk Hazard and his connections to Doflamingo to perform all sorts of inhumane experiments, Luffy ruthlessly brutalized Caesar with Haki enhanced punches.
When Doflamingo attempt to massacre the people of Dressrossa with his Birdcage, Luffy refused to leave them to die and was fully prepared to personally take down Doflamingo despite Law's warning of invoking Kaido's rage. He was not only angry at Doflamingo for trying to destroy Dressrosa but also angry at how he controlled and manipulated the country saying such things "suffocate" him.
Luffy believes that nobody should laugh at a person's death, no matter who the dead person was.
Luffy is extremely confident in his abilities, willing to challenge anyone in combat as he took on the strongest people he ever faced. When he was fighting Arlong, he was self-assured that he could beat him. During his third battle with Crocodile, Luffy vocally dismissed the latter's position and claims he would defeat him. When faced with a Logia before the timeskip, Luffy would rather run instead of fight, as with Smoker ever since their encounter in Loguetown, but he is willing to fight to protect those dear to him as with his crew or saving Ace. Notably, Luffy faced Enel, who is a Logia user, knowing his rubber body cannot be affected by electricity. Luffy usually charges in at his opponent, something that comes from his simple-mindedness, showing that he can be somewhat overconfident, which eventually leads to underestimating his opponents, as with Crocodile, Rob Lucci, and Gecko Moria. After his defeat against Crocodile in their first fight, Luffy admitted he was not strong enough, yet had water with him for their second fight, showing Luffy can admit his shortcomings and is not overly arrogant. At Sabaody Archipelago, Luffy told his crew to retreat back to the ship when they were facing Borsalino, Sentomaru, and another Pacifista. After his two-year training of learning Haki, Luffy becomes more confident in himself, as he is able to face anyone, even a Logia. With his newfound abilities, Luffy would go far to challenge the Yonko and even Marine admirals, as he went to fight Issho in spite of his position. At Whole Cake Island, Luffy vowed to improve his own Haki by surpassing and defeating Katakuri in spite of having Brûlée as a means to escape. Although he is still prone to being overconfident, as with his first fight with Caesar Clown. This happened again after Queen and a handful of his subordinates took Big Mom away from the Prisoner Mines at Udon, Luffy took the remaining Beasts Pirates there lightly and he was caught off-guard when Babanuki used the prisoners against him.
Luffy also shows confidence in his friends and allies, knowing they can handle themselves even without his help. Luffy can count on his crew to handle the subordinates they are opposing while Luffy handles the strongest fighter. Aside from combat, Luffy also shows faith in his friend's talents, as with Sanji's culinary skills, Nami's navigating, Chopper's medical expertise, Robin's intelligence regarding being an archeologist and being able to read Poneglyphs, and Franky's carpentry.
While Luffy is fearless, carefree, and self-assured, there at times his confidence and pride was diminished. In fact, Luffy's one and only greatest insecurity lies with his inability of being able to protect the ones closest to him. This happened when he thought Sabo was dead when his boat was blown up by a World Noble. This happened again at Sabaody Archipelago, when Luffy's crew was picked off one by one by Kuma, and came to tears when he thought he had lost them. Sabo's suppose death stems that if Ace would meet the same fate, which happened when Ace sacrificed himself to him from Sakazuki. This lead Luffy having meltdown, and after regaining conscious on Amazon Lily when he recalled Ace dying, he went on a rampage throughout the island, it was there when Luffy, unable to save his brother as well as being disregarded as weak from the foes he fought in Marineford, Luffy broke down in tears as he claimed he is too weak and unfit to be Pirate King. It was only there with the encouragement from Jinbe that he reminded him that he still have his crew, that made resolve to train with Silvers Rayleigh to improve his Haki so he could protect his friends once they are reunited at Sabaody Archipelago.
To complement Luffy's naïveté and straightforward attitude, there is a running gag through the series where Luffy can identify similarities on things that have little resemblance (like being able to see the resemblance between Sanji and his Wanted Poster, or being able to see Spoil as an old man with major wounds rather than a zombie), but is unable to see similarities with things with obvious connections (like being unable to tell that Sogeking is Usopp or not seeing through Foxy's pathetic disguises until he was told by the latter). This gag seemed to have remained after the timeskip as he could not identify two people as impostors until Demaro Black's ruse was revealed. However, he was able to identify Caesar Clown in a poor disguise but had second thoughts when Caesar told him otherwise until Nami informed Luffy that he was correct. He was even able to identify Pekoms when he tried to disguise himself as "Nazoms", which surprised the latter.
Luffy also has a tendency of forgetting people or old enemies he has encountered, which was seen on various occasions. In these instances, he is usually met with annoyance by them especially when he belatedly recalls them in a humiliating moment or with a poor description of them.
Another running gag is his habit of being amazed at various abilities of villains, often yelling out "amazing" with stars in his eyes and around his head. Luffy believes that he is at his "coolest" when he is wearing armor. Luffy also seems to have a slight obsession when it comes to outfitting himself with full-body armors, and has a habit of wearing one whenever he gets the chance. But every armor that he manages to find and outfit himself with usually ends up destroyed either in a battle or by some other comedic scenario. He also constantly insults his opponents by giving them degrading nicknames (such as calling Gecko Moria a "leek" or Enel "earlobes"). Luffy apparently has no skill with insulting people, usually taking either a physical aspect or unique ability and trying to make it degrading (like calling Zoro "three-swords style" when everyone was lamenting Vivi's absence, only to be corrected by Usopp).
Another one of his running gags is that during the battles, Luffy often gets into situations (accidentally or intentionally) in which he can not fight. In such cases, his crew mates fight with other weaker enemies associated with the main antagonist and defeat them. This happened when he fell into a cage in the Orange Town Arc, fell asleep in the Syrup Village Arc, was stuck in stone and thrown into the water during the Arlong Park Arc, and when he entered a snake's stomach in the Skypiea Arc. When all other enemies are defeated, Luffy fights with the strongest, the one whom only he can defeat.
Luffy also has absolutely no talent for lying whatsoever, and cannot hold a straight face or poker face at all when intimidated to confess the truth. This lack of subtlety sometimes manifests as extreme honesty, and Luffy can be very blunt with people. After meeting Koby and Shirahoshi, he called them cowards and flat out told them that he did not like them because of it (though he later befriended them both). In fact, more often than not, Luffy would blurt out, without thinking, what he knows regarding a certain event whenever someone asks something concerning the events that transpired. On Zou, his crewmates beat him up when he casually mentioned the samurai, which the other Straw Hats thought was a taboo topic in light of what the minks had been through after Jack's invasion until they realize their mistake after the samurai appear. In contrast, Luffy has a tendency to suck his lips in and turn his head to the side when an attack or technique fails to affect him, such as Enel's various electrical attacks or Boa Hancock's Mero Mero no Mi.
When talking about money, tells his crew-mates to budget their money, only for them to react in return that it all goes towards feeding him. Another running gag involves Luffy randomly telling someone a secret, such as the identity of his and Ace's fathers, only to casually ask them to keep it a secret afterwards. He shares this trait with his grandfather.
Like other D's so far, he is also an immense glutton despite his skinny appearance: he especially loves meat and can eat a fish whole - bones included - and because of this, a running gag of Luffy's is him constantly stealing other peoples' food with his rubber powers, causing them to yell at him and sometimes hit him. It should also be noted that he becomes more gluttonous over the series as there are moments he becomes morbidly obese, though he loses the weight in some way, usually exercise. Also, after the events of Enies Lobby, Luffy seems to have developed narcolepsy, much like his brother Ace, though for only a short time. Due to his gluttony, Luffy can end up losing control in times of dire hunger. When he expended all the crew's food supply while on the way to Whole Cake Island, he was thinking about using Chopper as emergency food ration and in the anime, he tried to devour Chopper alive twice and had to be beaten by Nami.
Luffy never kills any of his enemies (no matter how cold-hearted they are); instead, he frequently sends the enemy flying, knocking them out or beating them until they have reached the point that they are almost near death. However, it is evidently clear that Luffy is not against others completing the final act themselves, as seen when Luffy allowed Law to make his attempt to kill Doflamingo, while making sure Trebol did not interfere. This may have been more to do with stopping Doflamingo's birdcage (which would only deactivate if Doflamingo willed it or was dead or unconscious) from killing civilians than actually harboring any desire to see Doflamingo killed.
Despite his passion for fighting, Luffy also generally refuses to fight someone that he does not personally consider an enemy, preferring to either talk it over or run away from the confrontation.
Over the series, Luffy has become more mature and levelheaded, though he only shows this part of his personality when he and his friends are in dire situations or someone insults him, calling people like him and their beliefs foolish. Other than that, he still acts the same as he was at the start of the series.
There were some instances where Luffy seems to enjoy defeating his opponents. During his fight with Mohji (who immediately began to apologize after Luffy took out his pet lion, Richie), Luffy refused to forgive him and mercilessly punched him as hard as he could without any restraint, despite Mohji being much weaker than him. He also refused to allow his enemies to get away with whatever they have done and will want revenge against them no matter what others say. When Wapol appeared at Drum Castle, Luffy immediately showed anger and dropped what he was doing just for the sole purpose of punching Wapol and showed delight when he told Wapol that he was going to defeat him. When Wapol was stuck in the tower of Drum Castle, Luffy ignored all of Wapol's pleas and gladly sent him flying far away from Drum Island.
This attitude extends to anyone affiliated to the enemy. After he, Chopper, and Robin came across Hogback, Luffy learned that he was with Moria and decided to beat him up just for being one of Moria's allies.
Luffy will also express hatred and the need to beat up a person if they have done anything to one of his friends in the past and will not rest until he has beaten them. After the Franky Family robbed and beaten Usopp, Luffy quickly sought payback against them and stormed their hideout.
Luffy enjoys a decent fight and is eager to fight against strong opponents though he clearly doesn't hunger for battle like Zoro and Rob Lucci do. Notably, Luffy was intrested in Jesus Burgess's challenge in Mocktown.
In combat, Luffy is highly brutal and ruthless, fighting his opponents without mercy. Though, when faced with weaker fighters, Luffy would hold back to avoid seriously injuring them. However, he will show no remorse if they harm his friends and crew in any way. When facing powerful foes, Luffy goes all out that would pulverize them. Luffy would face his opponents rather than avoiding them as he did not agree with Usopp's plan of copying the Poneglyphs without facing Kaido or Big Mom, stating he would take them down to get to them.
Luffy can be reckless and rebellious towards powerful figures, such as the Marines, the World Government, the Shichibukai, the World Nobles, and even the Yonko.
Luffy has a habit of cracking his knuckles when he is ready to fight. Like Zoro and Sanji, Luffy will sometimes grin dangerously during a fight. Luffy grinned when he was attacked by two Beasts Pirates' members on the shores of Wano Country.
While Luffy would prefer fighting his opponents, he has no qualms giving anyone else a chance to finish them off as Luffy allowed Law to try to kill Doflamingo. This happened again in Whole Cake Island, as Luffy agreed to partake in Bege's assassination plot against Big Mom as he only did it to save Sanji's family. However, Luffy will resort to fighting them eventually given the respective opponent survived, as Luffy fought and defeated Doflamingo by himself, and declared to Big Mom that he would defeat her after he defeats Kaido.
Every time Luffy defeats an enemy, he smiles shortly afterward. There has been only one exception: after his fight with Usopp in Water 7, Luffy did not smile for a whole day.
Prior to the timeskip, Luffy had displayed a side to himself where he occasionally gets into fights with others over needless issues (i.e. he nearly got into one with Blackbeard in Mock Town over a matter of quality of the pies that the tavern served to their patrons). He still has this trait after the timeskip when he is shown to fight with Momonosuke when he arrives on Dressrosa. However when Luffy is told to keep a low profile or to restrain himself he will resist his urges to pick fights over small matters. There has been only one exception: when Luffy accidentally ran into Demaro Black, he did not want to get involved in the conflict with him and finished it with the least amount of effort, which was evident when he knocked him out and the other Fake Straw Hat Crew with the use of Haoshoku Haki. Although, most likely, he did this to prevent deviations in plans.
Another dominant trait of Luffy is his humble nature: he does not brag about the powerful foes he's defeated in the past, though he's not above about claiming that no one has ever beaten him in the past (which is not true, having been defeated many times by various opponents during his lifetime). When he was fighting Arlong, Luffy admitted he does not have the skills like his crew does, like being a swordsman, cooking, navigating his own ship, or even lie.
He remains humble despite having done outrageous acts like defeating Shichibukai-level pirates and issuing the order to burn down the World Government Flag back at Enies Lobby. When Franky pointed out the latter, Luffy only replied that it was nothing to get worked up over (hinting that he only gave the order on a mere whim), for he and his crew were only there to take back a crew member that was taken from them. When Sengoku reprimanded Bartholomew Kuma for not killing the Straw Hats after Gecko Moria's defeat, Garp assured Sengoku that Luffy is not the type of person who would brag about his accomplishments.
During combat, Luffy would not fight someone who could not fight properly. After finding out that Smoker and Tashigi switched bodies due to Law's Devil Fruit during the confrontation at Punk Hazard, Luffy told Smoker that they should fight another day since Luffy will not fight him if Smoker cannot use his full strength. Also, Luffy would even attempt to make a fair fight when engaging against someone who is disabled as Luffy announced all of his attacks during his fight with the blind admiral, Issho.
Luffy will also take the blame for something he is not fully or partially responsible. When Charlotte Linlin threatened to destroy Fish-Man Island for not supplying her with the monthly candy tribute, Luffy took the blame of eating all of the candy to spare the island from Big Mom's wrath.
When Katakuri apologized to Luffy for Flampe interfering with their fight, Luffy claimed that fighting dirty isn't something to be against in a duel between pirates, and further adds that it was his mistake for not dodging Flampe's darts.
Luffy can be very stubborn at times, whether in his desire for adventurous routes, recruiting a desired member into his crew, or upholding a promise. Disregarding how his crew would advise him against taking a more dangerous route for their travels, Luffy would argue nonstop until either they comply or something makes him see the reason for the alternative.
When he found an individual he wishes to recruit, he goes to great lengths to maintain his stance and repeatedly ask them despite being refused (mainly Nami, Sanji, and Franky). Likewise, when certain members leave the crew, he would chase after them and stubbornly refuse to leave despite their demands, cruel words, and even abusive retaliations, having managed to retrieve Nami, Robin, and Sanji when they attempted to depart. He originally wanted to retrieve Usopp right away despite their disagreement, but Zoro's reason made him understand that Usopp must apologize before being re-accepted into the crew. Luffy was nevertheless happy when Usopp finally returned with an apology. However, Luffy does try to understand said crewmate's reason to leave and help them out before returning.
Luffy upholds his promises quite strongly, even when it results in himself being injured. When he promised Nami that he would not cause trouble in Mock Town, he simply allowed the Bellamy Pirates to beat him and Zoro up. That does not mean that he will not break his promises, as he did only at critical points that would otherwise invade his moral compass, such as avenging an offended friend.