Both Schwartz (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 62 (3), 1974, pp. 553–578) and Cokelet (Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., vol. 286 (1335), 1977, pp. 183–230) failed to gain convergent results for limiting Stokes waves in extremely shallow water by means of perturbation methods, even with the aid of extrapolation techniques such as the Padé approximant. In particular, it is extremely difficult for traditional analytic/numerical approaches to present the wave profile of limiting waves with a sharp crest of
included angle first mentioned by Stokes in the 1880s. Thus, traditionally, different wave models are used for waves in different water depths. In this paper, by means of the homotopy analysis method (HAM), an analytic approximation method for highly nonlinear equations, we successfully gain convergent results (and especially the wave profiles) of the limiting Stokes waves with this kind of sharp crest in arbitrary water depth, even including solitary waves of extreme form in extremely shallow water, without using any extrapolation techniques. Therefore, in the frame of the HAM, the Stokes wave can be used as a unified theory for all kinds of waves, including periodic waves in deep and intermediate depths, cnoidal waves in shallow water and solitary waves in extremely shallow water.