The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter 1058, "New Emperors," by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English from Viz Media.
In Chapter 1058 of One Piece, the newest assortment of Straw Hat bounties was revealed and could arguably be the final bounty sum for the characters until the end of the series. Due to their status as a Yonko crew and the feats performed when taking down Kaido and the Beast Pirates, the amount of berries their heads were worth skyrocketed into new territory. That is, all but one member of the crew. The reindeer and ship doctor, Chopper, received a whole ten times his original bounty, placing him at 1000 berries.
This 1000 berry bounty is pitiful in comparison to nearly every other character, apart from the Heart Pirates' Bepo, who seems within the same ballpark of worth to the Navy. Considering the Straw Hats' achievements up to the victory in Wano, it seems laughable that any member of the crew would be given such a low sum, and the excuse for this is the title of ‘pet’ given to Chopper as his place on the ship. It was an amusing gag at first; the other Straw Hats had jokes in their posters, such as Sanji’s hand-drawn image or Usopp appearing in the background of Luffy’s poster, or even Franky’s new Thousand Sunny image instead of himself. Choppers gag, however, has stretched beyond amusement into curiosity.
Chopper's Running Bounty Gag Stopped Making Sense After Sabaody
When looking through the One Piece manga, the joke only made sense before Sabaody Archipelago. During the fight with CP9, it is possible for the World Government to mistake Chopper’s Monster Point as some kind of strange creature and still consider Chopper the pet of the crew, not having much worth or level of threat to their power.
During the events of Sabaody, however, Sentomaru personally witnessed Chopper transform and engage him directly. As a member of the Navy -- even if unofficially at that time -- he would have been able to convey the real nature of the Straw Hats' pet and have the bounty redone to truly reflect Chopper’s place on the crew.
This is made even clearer during the Raid on Onigashima, as Chopper played a major role in the victory of the Straw Hats and Samurai. Chopper briefly skirmished with Queen on the same floor as Apoo, who was taking photos of the battle to sell to Morgan. His importance and effectiveness was not a hidden factor, but known by both sides of the conflict. Even more curious is that, during the new chapter, Chopper is counted as one of the new Yonkō’s Commanders, yet is still only granted a miniscule bounty of 1000 berries. Eiichiro Oda is known for his running gags within the series, yet sometimes they play out beyond the realms of suspicion of disbelief.
Chopper's Present-Day Bounty Is Probably Eiichiro Oda's Ongoing Joke
The question is: has the World Government done this for any particular reason or is it simply a continuing joke from the mangaka that will persist until One Piece's conclusion? At first it could be theorized that, since Bepo follows the same bounty structure as Chopper, perhaps the World Government believe Chopper to be a Mink and for some unknown reason, they wish to keep their existence hidden from the general populace.
However, once Pedro and his bounty of 382,000,000 berries was introduced, this theory no longer held any credence. If there is some other purpose to the World Government’s decision to offer such a low sum for Chopper and Bepo other than being incompetent and not making the connection, it has yet to be explored.
The likely truth is that Oda enjoyed the joke and decided to continue with it until the very end. While it is humorous to see Chopper’s reaction to being labeled with such a low bounty, when characters like Nami and Usopp are panicking over their increases, it is a shame that the bounty does not reflect Chopper's real importance to the Straw Hat Crew. One Piece's humor is one of its many strengths, but it would be satisfying to see Chopper’s bounty jump to a more respectable number, followed by his embarrassed joy -- then absolute fear when Usopp reminds him how much danger he is now in.