Tear Jerker / Toy Story 2

Being abandoned by the person who you loved is always tough.
You went to go see a comedy about toys. You ended up halfway through flashing back to sitting at your grandma's bedside as she passed away.
Drew Magary, on Toy Story 2

  • The toys still feel pretty bad for how they turned against Woody during the first film, shown when Buzz tries to rally them to save Woody.
    Mr. Potato Head: Oh, you had to bring that up.
  • Jessie's backstory must have a direct mainline to your worst fears of abandonment and lost childhood for all the tears it extracts. Sarah McLachlan singing "When She Loved Me" with Randy Newman at the piano only helps to emphasize the feeling of true love lost.
    • The leadup where Jessie reveals she knows exactly what Andy means to Woody, and why:
    Woody: Well if you knew him you'd understand Andy is a-
    Jessie: [bitter] Let me guess, Andy is a real special kid and to him you're his buddy; his best friend and when Andy plays with you it's like... [wistful] even though you're not moving, you feel like you're alive, because that's how he sees you.
    Woody: How did you know that?
    • What Jessie says immediately after finishing the song.
    Jessie: You never forget kids like Emily or Andy... but they forget you.
    Woody: (stunned) Jessie, I didn't know—
    Jessie: (about to cry) Just go.
    • The DVD commentary stated that Joan Cusack, Jessie's VA, also cried while recording the last line.
    • Tom Hanks, in an interview on the radio show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, revealed that when he and Tim Allen (Buzz) were watching an early release of the movie, after this scene, they both looked at each other across an empty theater, tears in their eyes.
    • This quote from John Lasseter from The Pixar Story brilliantly describes this scene:
      "At that moment you know that no one's thinking 'Well this is just a cartoon', 'this is just a bunch of pencil drawings on paper' or 'This is just a bunch of computer data'. No. These characters are alive and they're real."
    • Even worse? Woody at least has Buzz and the rest of Andy's toys to help him cope with Andy growing up, but Jessie had no one to help her come to terms with Emily's growing up and leaving her behind. She was completely alone the whole time. Notice that while she talks about Emily, she never mentions any other of Emily's toys that were outgrown or donated, fellow toys that Jessie would have had a bond with. One of the resilience factors in not developing PTSD is having a strong sense of family providing a sense of safety for you...but she didn't even have that.
  • After Woody's touch-up, the cleaner makes one last adjustment: he paints over Andy's name on the bottom of Woody's boot. The DVD Commentary notes that, at a lot of screenings, several audience members audibly gasped.
  • The scene where Woody refuses to go back with Buzz and the rest of the gang before the scene below was also tear jerking, as well.
    Woody: I don't have a choice, Buzz. This is my only chance.
    Buzz: To do what, Woody? Watch kids from behind glass and never be loved again? Some life...
    • Take a look at the other toys after this. They look so sad that Woody isn't coming back with them. They aren't upset that they came all that way for nothing, but instead worry outloud about Andy's reaction to coming home and finding his favorite toy missing.
    • While the others sadly leave through the vent, Slinky stops and stares at Woody sadly for a few seconds before leaving. Remember that Slinky was the only toy who vocally stood up for Woody in the original movie.
    Slinky: *crushed* What about Woody?...
    • Even Bonus Belt Buzz looks upset despite not knowing Woody. After spending the last few scenes talking endlessly about Zurg and Starcommand he silently leaves with the rest of Andy's toys in defeat.
  • The scene where Woody realizes he needs to go back to Andy after seeing an old TV clip of himself singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" in the most straightforward and sweetest way if that makes any sense.
    • "I can't stop Andy growing up. But I wouldn't miss it for the world." It gets more poignant given the events of the third movie.
    • Take a look at the boy who cartoon Woody is singing to. He looks just like Andy.
    • Tying into one of the above examples, he then wipes the paint off his shoe to reveal Andy's name again.
  • When Stinky Pete gives his backstory on why he's so adamant to go to Japan, even if it's by force.
    Jessie: Prospector, this isn't fair!
    Stinky Pete: Fair?! I'll tell you what's not fair! Spending a lifetime on a dimestore shelf, watching every other toy be sold! Well, finally my waiting has paid off, and no hand-me-down cowboy doll is gonna MESS IT UP FOR ME NOW!
  • When Woody looks up, after Andy has done his own patch job on Woody's torn arm, with a sweet smile on his face, knowing that Andy cares for him all along...
  • The scene where Al McWhiggin cries on the TV over losing the toys is kinda sad, even if he deserved it.
    Al: Welcome to Al's Toy Barn. We've got the lowest prices around. Everything for a buck, buck, buck...(sobs)
    • If we look from Al's point of view, we can understand the trauma he had to go through in the end. After years, Al finally finds the last piece of his "Woody's Roundup" collection, but when the owner wouldn't sell Woody to him (even for $50, which would equate to $100 in 2017), he resorts to theft, which is still wrong and petty, and grounds for the eventual Laser-Guided Karma. But then Al is shown to take good care of his merchandise, even spending hundreds of dollars on a professional cleaner to have Woody fixed. Now with his collection complete, Al could sell it to the Tokyo Toy Museum, like many people would in real life. He gets to the airport, and informs the crew about how valuable these toys are.
      We know what happens next, but as far as Al is concerned, the airport crew are very incompetent. Several items have disappeared from cases including his (such as a camera set and golf balls), a box full of glass was destroyed, a few people would have their suitcases placed on another flight, and if the hatch Woody and Jessie used to escape through remained open all the way to Japan, there would be more damage as a result of compression. Al would have every right to be upset over losing his most valuable items, and he'd most likely sue the airport for misuse of his suitcases and apparent theft. Same would go with the owner of the camera set, as well as the ones who had to wait for their luggage. And maybe Amy's parents might inform the airport that their daughter has found a "big ugly cowboy doll" in her backpack.
      • And by the time he returns from Japan, he finds that someone had broken into his store and knocked a whole shelf down, taking a Zurg figurine from his box. As if he couldn't be any unluckier after losing his most valuable collection...
  • The whole scene of Woody being put on the shelf after his arm is broken. He then happens upon Wheezy on the shelf, dusty and broken and barely able to breathe. Apparently Andy's mom told Andy a story that she would fix his squeaker until Andy supposedly just forgot about him. The premise of broken sentient toys unable to function and make kids happy is heartbreaking.
    • Despite Woody's attempts to save him, his mom still finds and picks up Wheezy for the yard sale. He can only make a weak "Goodbye Woody" in defeat.
  • New Buzz mourning the apparent demise of his "father". Thankfully, it's quickly fixed a few scenes later, when we see them playing catch together, having accepted each other as father and son. Awww.