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Toy Story is a CGI animated film series and Disney media franchise that began with the original 1995 film of the same name, produced by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The franchise focuses on a group of toys that secretly come to life and end up unexpectedly embarking on life-changing adventures. The first two films of the franchise were directed by John Lasseter, and the third by Lee Unkrich, who acted as the co-director of the second film (together with Lasseter and Ash Brannon). The fourth will be directed by Inside Out co-director, Josh Cooley.


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The main films:

Television:

  • Toy Story Treats: In 1996, Pixar created a series of shorts known as Toy Story Treats which were used as interstitials on ABC Family and Disney's One Too. They did not necessarily follow the continuity from Toy Story, taking place before, during and after the events of the first film. They were aired roughly around the time of Toy Story's release to home video.
  • TV specials:

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Others:

  • Toy Story (1995): Video game adaptation of the first movie.
  • Toy Story 2 (1999): Video game adaptation of the second movie.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000-2001): Spinoff TV series not made by Pixar, though they did animate the CGI intro sequences for the Pilot Movie and the series proper.
  • Toy Story Toons: In 2011, Pixar started releasing short animated films to supplement the Toy Story films, called Toy Story Toons. The shorts pick up where Toy Story 3 has left off, with Woody, Buzz, and Andy's other toys finding a new home at Bonnie's. So far, three shorts have been released:
  • Hawaiian Vacation (played before Cars 2) — Barbie and Ken end up in Bonnie's bedroom after a failed attempt to stow away on her trip to Hawaii, so the toys all try to create their own island paradise.
  • Small Fry (played before The Muppets) — The first Pixar short to play before a live-action movie, Buzz gets left behind at a fast food restaurant and encounters lost kids' meal toys.
  • Partysaurus Rex (played before Finding Nemo 3D) — When Rex finds himself left behind in the bathroom, he puts his limbs to use by getting a bath going for a bunch of new toy friends.
  • Mythic Rock: still in development since 2013.

This film series provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • In the first movie, Woody is crushed by a Binford toolbox (Buzz's voice actor Tim Allen starred in Home Improvement, where Binford was the sponsor of a Show Within a Show) and Mr. Potato Head's hockey puck one liner (Mr. Potato Head is voiced by insult comic Don Rickles, known for calling anyone he insults "hockey puck").
    • In the second movie, Buzz's reaction to seeing the Buzz Lightyear utility belt sounded very much like a Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor reaction.
    • In a commercial featuring the characters for the USPS, Hamm is dressed as a mailman. Hamm is voiced by John Ratzenburger, who played another mailman, Cliff Clavin from Cheers.
  • Adult Fear: Underneath the wackyness the theme of abandonment by the ones you love in the later installments of the series can really hit home hard to children and grown-ups alike.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Justified, since the toys are actually small enough to fit. Happens Once A Movie: Legs and Ducky walk through the vents of Sid's house in the first one, Buzz #2 and the rescue team travel through the vents (and elevator shaft) of Al's apartment building in the second one, and in the third movie Woody and Slinky use the ventilation system to get into the Sunnyside security room and incapacitate the cymbal monkey.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The original Toy Story was the first feature-length example of this trope.
  • Ascended Extra: Mrs. Potato Head in the third movie, whereas she was only a minor character in the second.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: The series starts out taking the concept of sentient toys pretty lightly, but as it goes on, it explores the Fridge Horror of the concept more and more thoroughly, eventually to a further extent than most people would probably expect from a children's movie series.
  • Badass Crew: The main group of toys eventually becomes this.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Parodied and averted in the first movie. Parodied, because Buzz (as a toy) think he's on an alien planet (possibly with no atmosphere). Averted, because he's a toy, and he's breathing Earth atmosphere. The second movie contains a Shout-Out to this with the Utility Belt Buzz.
  • Book-Ends: The first shot of the first movie and both the first shot and the last shot of the third movie are of a blue sky with uniquely-shaped white clouds, that of Andy's old wallpaper.
    • The first movie ends with Andy moving into a new house. The third ends with him leaving.
  • Bottomless Pit: One is seen in the video game opening sequence inside Zurg's fortress, and the elevator shaft in Al's apartment building.
  • Brand X: A few of the minor characters are based off popular retro toys — without technically being said toys (probably due to Executive Meddling). Lotso is essentially a Care Bear with the tags cut off and Stretch resembles a Wacky Wallwalker.
    • Averted with Barbie, Etch-A-Sketch, trolls, and a whole bunch of other toys. The copyrights all get mentioned in the end titles.
    • In fact, Pixar wanted Barbie for the first film to be Woody's girlfriend, but Mattel would not grant them permission to use the trademark. They changed their mind when they saw how the film improved sales of Mr. Potato Head.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: In each film, Woody has an argument. In the first film, with Buzz when they are lost, near the end when the other toys think he killed Buzz. In the second, with Jessie and later when he refuses to follow his friends back home. In the third, when he doesn't want to stay with them in Sunny Side.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mr. Potato Head.
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Buzz.
  • Cassandra Truth: Woody in all three movies. 1: "Buzz is alive!" 2. "Andy didn't break me intentionally!" 3. "Andy didn't throw you away!"
    • The third installment also has Woody's warning about Sunnyside not being as pleasant as they expect it to be, but even Woody didn't anticipate just how bad it would turn out to be.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Catchphrase:
    • "To infinity... AND BEYOND!"
    • Woody gets one in the second film: "Hey howdy hey!"
      • "There's a snake in my boot!"
      • "Reach for the sky!"
    • "Yee-haw!" for Jessie.
    • "Run like the wind, Bullseye!"
  • Ceiling Cling: Woody in the first film and Buzz in the second.
  • Central Theme: The Toy Story series as a whole: A toys true purpose in life.
  • Cerebus Retcon: What Molly does to Mr. Potato Head at the very beginning of Toy Story 1 is less funny if you've seen how the toys were abused in Toy Story 3.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While each movie has a fair bit of comedy, each also tops the previous installment in intensity of dramatic moments.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the first movie; Al's Toy Barn is advertised at the end of the commercial for Buzz Lightyear figures that makes Buzz realize the truth about himself. Al's Toy Barn goes on to be a major part of the plot in Toy Story 2.
    • In the truck chase near the end of Toy Story, when Woody is clinging to the moving truck and Scud grabs his leg, we can audibly hear the stitching of his right arm pop. Cut to the beginning of Toy Story 2, where the plot is set in motion when Woody's right arm rips, as the stitching was already weakened tremendously from the tug-o-war with Scud in movie 1.
    • The Potatoes' ability to see though a disconnected eye is something introduced in the second scene of the first movie and becomes a major plot point 10 years later in the third movie, when Mrs. Potato Head uses her missing eye to discover that Andy is looking for them after his mother donates them to the Daycare Center.
    • In Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete asks Woody if he really thinks Andy will take him to college, which is the plot of Toy Story 3.
    • Another dinosaur that might replace Rex as Andy's dinosaur toy, which worries Rex. Rex doesn't get replaced per se, but another dinosaur DOES appear in Toy Story 3... in someone else's house. Not only is she also a dinosaur, but she's also a geek like Rex, and the credits epilogue reveals that they get along well.
    • Rex also mentioned wanting to play with a herbivore. In the end credits, he ends up doing just that in a Does This Remind You of Anything? scene.
    • In Toy Story 3, the garbage man wears a familiar-looking skull shirt. It's not just who the garbage man was that makes him significant, it's also what he does later in the movie.
    • In Toy Story 3, The aliens' obsession with The Claw from the first movie becomes a hilarious Brick Joke/Chekhov's Gun/Big Damn Heroes/Deus ex Machina all in one.
      "The Claw chooses who will go and who will stay!"
  • Comically Missing the Point: Makes up most of the plot. No, not the movie itself. Every situation that's ever happened in Toy Story many of the toy characters always assumed the worst, before finding out the real truth. Three hilarious examples include:
    1. Potato Head accusing Woody of murdering Buzz when he sees the broken arm. Buzz was too depressed to get out of his Heroic BSoD to prove he was still alive.
    2. Rex thinking Woody was trying to sell himself at the yard sale. He was trying to rescue Wheezy.
    3. Potato Head thinking that Bullseye and Jessie were torturing Woody. They were really tickling him.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: Andy and Bonnie are both the caring and imaginative owners of Woody and the gang. However, Andy himself was an energetic individual all around while Bonnie was very shy while in public.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Woody is The Hero, but not the best fighter, so ends up comically getting his ass kicked most times he pisses off another character. Amusingly his beatings in Toy Story 2 even mirror the same manner he is attacked by Buzz in the first movie.
  • Damsel in Distress: Bo Peep in Andy's games.
  • Darker and Edgier: The third is considered a Prison Episode for the series, with sadistic teddy bears, demonic children, Cymbal Banging Monkeys, and all ending with a trip to the fiery gates of Hell. Most notably though is how the movie puts even more emphasis on the toys' fears of becoming disowned by their owners.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hamm.
  • Demoted to Extra: Slinky, in the third movie. He had a fairly sizable role in the first two movies as Woody's best pal, but is merely a background character when the toys head off to Sunnyside Daycare.
  • Deus ex Machina: Played for laughs every time the Pizza Planet truck appears in the films. In the first, it appears out of nowhere to take Buzz and Woody to Pizza Planet and is done even more so in Toy Story 2.
    • Lampshaded in the commentary to Toy Story 2.
    • Averted in Toy Story 3. The Pizza Planet truck is involved in the Back Story of the film's antagonist, but only (indirectly) leads him to disappointment. It could also be interpreted as a Diabolus ex Machina, in that sense as it's the reason Lotso ended up at Sunnyside.
    • In the third, the LGM's returning to save the gang with the claw as they're about to be melted down, but the entire scene was done so well, who could gripe? Also, the writers did keep reminding us of their religious fascination with claws throughout the film. As well as have them taken off-screen early on during the dump sequence. Foreshadowing, done right! Straight forward to the fact that it's a machine that is given godlike reverence.
  • Disappeared Dad: There's no Andy's Dad in sight. It's never explicitly brought up but fans like to argue the three possibilities: Andy's mom is a widow; Andy's mom is a divorcee; Andy's mom just happens to be a single mother. In the first two scenarios, many fans in turn assume that Woody is one of the only gifts from his father. The third could be yet another Shout-Out to The Brave Little Toaster, since Rob's mom is single too. Food for thought: so is John Lasseter's mom. This video helps to shed some light on the subject.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Most striking in the case of Dolly the doll, but applies to the other characters too. Justified in that most of the toys were named by young children.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Invoked in Toy Story 1 and 2, both with the Pizza Planet truck. The first one has the actual driver doing this. The second has the toys doing this after hijacking the Pizza Planet Truck to pursue Al and rescue Woody. Similarly, they also invoke the trope on other drivers in the first and second movie. The first was when Scud was chasing Buzz and RC (although it probably wasn't intentional on Buzz, RC, and Woody's part), and the second movie had Buzz and the toys disguising themselves as traffic cones in order to safely cross the road to Al's Toy Barn, with the results being obvious for the drivers.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A staple of the series. Toy Story nearly ends with Buzz and Woody left alone on the street with Andy's moving van driving away, Toy Story 2 nearly ships Woody and Jessie (not that kind, though) to Japan, and Toy Story 3 has them facing the blazing eternity of Hell-Fire and burning alive. Randy Newman was right, the road is rough ahead.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: No boy's toy collection would be complete without a Tyrannosaurus rex, though Rex is actually a bit of a coward, a goofball and a gamer geek. He's not too bright either. The third movie introduces Trixie, whose design seems to imply that they're from the same toyline.
    • It appears that all the dinosaur toys in the series are from the same line, and are in turn based on... Dino-Riders!?!
  • Exposed Eyeballs as Eyes: Mr. Potato Head and his wife, being toys with detachable parts, sometimes have to hold their eyes in their hands in order to see better.
  • Expy: Sarge, voiced by R. Lee Ermey, is Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in toy form.
  • Fake Action Prologue: Both the second and the third movie.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • For toys, to be loved by children, then forgotten and abandoned is worse than they could bear.
    • As it turns out, having the kids outgrow you and being tossed in the trash is even worse than that.
  • Genki Girl: Jessie, full-throttle. Trixie and Barbie in the third.
  • Genre-Busting: It's comedy/drama/thriller/horror/action/prison escape/philosophical.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Although it appears to be played straight for the toys, in the end it's averted. The message seems to be "Growing up can be sad, but in the end it's not that bad."
  • Happily Married: Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
  • Hand Signals: Used in all three films.
  • Helium Speech: The voice actors (not just Jeff Pidgeon, although it was mostly him) actually inhaled helium to make the voices of the Martians.
  • Helping Hands: Mr. Potato Head's body parts are capable of being pulled off him and rearranged. This is sort of a hassle for him to put himself right after the kids are gone. His parts can work on their own even when they're separated from him. The same for Mrs. Potato Head.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Woody and Buzz.
  • Hitscan: Buzz's laser. Unlike Zurg's Ion Blaster, it hits its target instantly.
  • Idiot Ball: Somehow, a Buzz Lightyear toy holds this in every film, for that Buzz Lightyear who holds it believes he's the real Buzz Lightyear, and not a toy. There are a few Toys who also hold part of it.
    • Toy Story: Buzz; this is a major part of the film. He loses it when he sees a commercial, and then goes crazy and is reduced to drinking tea and... wearing a pink apron. For a while, anyway. This causes Woody much frustration.
    • Toy Story 2: The Buzz Lightyear toy with a belt (whom the Buzz from Toy Story encounters) believes he is the real Buzz Lightyear.
      • Buzz's archenemy — Zurg — as a toy, holds this, too, and engages combat with the Buzz with the belt. A Shout-Out to Star Wars is involved.
    • Toy Story 3: The first Buzz toy seen in the three films holds this again. This time, he gets reset into demo mode and then into Spanish! ¡Buzz Lightyear al rescate!
  • Immortality: Toys can be broken and possibly die when broken beyond repair (we hope), but when taken care of they can live forever, it seems.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Tom Hanks as Woody and Wayne Knight as Al.
  • Interim Villain: Subverted with Sid Phillips, even though he is the villain of the first film and is completely absent in the second, in the third he only appears as a cameo where he is now a garbage man.
  • Interspecies Friendship: While Andy doesn't know his toys are alive, they do care a lot about him. Woody in particular goes to great lengths to return to him when separated. Said toys are also True Companions with each other.
  • Ironic Echo: One within the first movie, another from the first to the second, another from the second to the third.
    • Early in the first movie, when Buzz tries to prove he can fly, Woody says "that wasn't flying, it was falling with style." When Buzz uses his plastic wings to glide in the climax, Woody says "you're flying" and Buzz says "this isn't flying, it's falling with style."
    • The first movie has Woody saying to Buzz "you're a child's plaything; you are a toy" when trying to explain to Buzz that he's not a space ranger. The second has Buzz saying this back to Woody when reminding him that he's supposed to be Andy's toy, not a collector's item for a museum.
    • The second movie has Mr. Potato Head saving the squeeze toy aliens from falling out of the Pizza Planet truck, and they repeatedly say "you have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful" to him afterwards. The third movie has the squeeze toy aliens operate the claw at the incinerator in a way that rescues all the toys from being burned; afterwards, Mrs. Potato Head says "you have saved our lives" followed by Mr. Potato Head saying "and we are eternally grateful."
  • Jerkass: Sid Phillips, Mr. Potato Head and initially Woody with Buzz in the first movie, Al and Stinky Pete in the second, and Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear in the third.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Let's face it, Andy was a freak the way he nicely treated his toys. Just look at Sid and those daycare monsters and you'll see that the toys never had it better than with him.
    • The creators of the film completely acknowledged this. The only one who treated his toys nicely was John Lasseter.
    • To be fair, only the toddlers in the Caterpillar Room were monsters because they were, well, babies; the toys they should be playing with are designed to take that abuse. The older kids in the Butterfly Room knew how to play nice.
  • Killed Off for Real: Combat Carl, the action figure Sid blew up during his introductory scene in the first film, is the only character in the entire series to ever be killed off permanently.
  • The Lancer: Buzz to Woody's Hero in the second and third films.
  • Large Ham:
    • Jessie. Joan Cusack chewed miles of scenery in that role.
    • Buzz is most hammy when fresh out of the box; and even after realizing he's a toy he remains rather hammy, though to a slightly lesser extent. Spanish Buzz es un Gran Jamón.
    • Zurg. As an Evil Overlord, he has to be.
    • And a quite obvious one in Hamm. "PIG PILE!"
    • If a small, stuffed hedgehog in lederhosen can be technically called a Large Ham, then Mr. Pricklepants from Toy Story 3 is that small stuffed hedgehog in lederhosen.
    Mr. Pricklepants: Sunnyside is a place of ruin and despair, ruled by an evil bear who smells of strawberries.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Woody and Jessie.
  • Living Toys: The premise.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Pixar is gifted with juggling various side stories that support the main storyline all in one movie with a huge cast. But... Toy Story already introduced a huge cast, and two more films followed, expanding the cast by 300%! By the third film, the supporting characters that were highlighted in the posters and trailers have barely 4 lines each!
  • Love Imbues Life: Implied. In the canon Kingdom Hearts III level for Toy Story, Woody mentions that toys that haven't attained sentience yet "haven't learned how to yet". Young Xehanort shortly after adds that the hearts of toys' owners (especially that of children) are connected to their toys and is what makes the world of Toy Story special.
  • Made of Iron: Sort of. The toys are capable of withstanding immense amounts of pain and abuse when in their inanimate state without so much as flinching, only feeling the effects after becoming animate. In fact, to an extent they seem to not mind the abuse at all (Woody is tossed around like a... well... toy doll in the opening scene by Andy, and Andy is naturally occasionally rough with his toys, but the toys seem to adore him all the same), much like how dogs will not mind some roughhousing as long as they're getting attention. Only the Mad Scientist machinations of Sid seem to cause the toys any suffering.
  • The Masquerade: It's a lot more subtle than most, but seeing as how the toys are so adamant about hiding the fact they are alive from humans, this definitely seems to be the case. Woody, in the first movie even says when they're about to rescue Buzz from Sid, "we're going to have to break a few rules, but if it works, it'll help everybody."
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Andy and Bonnie generate this while playing, since the toys are so varied.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • In-universe. In the playtimes, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, and Dolly tend to play villainous characters. Hamm and Potato Head are both Deadpan Snarkers, but still good guys, and Dolly is considered by fans to be the Team Mom of Bonnie's toys.
    • Stinky Pete is the villain of the second movie, though shown to be a pleasant (if slightly lustful) guy in the out-takes.
  • Meaningful Name: Woody is an old cowboy doll (just how old, we see in the second movie) whose rigid parts are made of wood. Buzz is a modern action figure crammed full of electronics.
    • Also, Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon.
    • In the third, Bonnie definitely is a good girl.
  • Men Can't Keep House: As shown with Sid's room in Toy Story and Al's apartment in Toy Story 2.
    • Andy's room, however, is usually quite remarkably tidy considering he's a small boy in the first two movies and a teenager in the third.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Mutant Toys
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal
  • No Flow in CGI: Played straight in the 1st movie, semi-averted in the 2nd and averted in the 3rd.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup is thankfully averted. Pixar had the source files all this time so they could re-render the first two movies for the 2009 3D re-release.
    • Also, a special feature in the 2010 DVD and Blu-ray release of Toy Story 2 tells of how the movie was almost wholly deleted, only to be saved by a staff member's backup.
    • But when they began work on Toy Story 3, they couldn't edit the original 3D models and had to rebuild everything from scratch.
  • Not So Different: Woody and Buzz: Both are toys of officers of the law, produced for a Merchandise-Driven show, they even both have a voice-clip feature with the technology of their day.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • From Toy Story 1:
      • Played With: Mr. Potato Head accuses Woody of deliberately knocking Buzz out of the window so that he can be Andy's favorite toy again. In reality, while Woody did knock Buzz out the window, and it was due to jealousy, it was an accident: Woody wanted to knock Buzz behind the dresser, so he can go to Pizza Planet with Andy.
      • A pivotal moment sees Woody try and convince the other toys to help him escape from Sid's room, insisting that Buzz is with him and is still alive. However, because this moment is occurring A) during Buzz' Heroic BSoD and B) after the "I Will Go Sailing No More" scene, all Woody has to work with (because of Buzz' refusal to help Woody) is Buzz's disconnected arm.
      • Part of the climax sees Andy's toys outright attack Woody after he shows up in the moving truck and throws RC out the back... except he did so to save Buzz from Scud, which they later realize.
    • From Toy Story 2:
      • The toys initially think Woody's rescue mission of Wheezy from the yard sale was him going to get himself sold due to his torn arm. It's only when Woody pulls Wheezy out of one of the boxes that the penny drops.
      • The Roundup Gang assumes Andy was actually abusive of Woody because of his torn arm, and his failed attempt at explaining how he wound up at the yard sale.
      • While in Al's Toy Barn, it's assumed that Buzz became delusional again after getting ahold of a Buzz Lightyear utility belt... except it's really a different Buzz Lightyear that inadvertently took Buzz' place.
      • Downplayed: While using Mr. Potato Head's eye to spy on Woody and the Roundup Gang, it's assumed that he was being tortured when in reality Jesse was tickling him (granted, a form of torture, but it wasn't in ill-intent).
      • Jesse wasn't the one who turned on the TV and prevent Woody from escaping the apartment earlier. It was Stinky Pete.
    • From Toy Story 3:
      • Even Woody himself thought Andy was throwing out the other toys, but in reality he was going to put them up in the attic (he used a trash-bag instead of a box for ease of convince). Molly just wound up choosing the worst possible moment to distract him.
      • Downplayed: Lotso is of the opinion that Daisy replaced him after getting left behind at the park, when it was most like Daisy's parents that replaced him to appease their upset child.
      • A smaller moment compared to the others, but we don't learn that Woody willingly decided to go with the other toys to Bonnie's instead of going with Andy to college until Bonnie and Andy discovered him in the box.
  • Obliviously Evil: Any human who mistreats toys, since it's not as if they can know they're alive. Although Sid takes a certain sadistic pleasure in abusing his toys anyway.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Woody when he's about to get crushed by the toolbox in the Pizza Planet truck.
    • Woody again upon seeing Sid at Pizza Planet.
    • "Wait a minute... I just lit a rocket... ROCKETS EXPLODE!"
    • When the toys enter the luggage conveyors in Toy Story 2.
      • On the plane:
    Woody: Okay, on three. One, two...
    (plane door slams shut)
    Woody: This is bad...
  • Older Than They Look: Woody and his roundup gang are merchandice for a television show that aired before Sputnik was launched. After that, the show was cancelled and they probably stopped making the merchandise, which might explain why Al had a hard time gathering Woody for a toy collection in Japan. That means that Woody, Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete could be at least forty-nine years old as of the third movie, which is set in 2006.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Every film at one point has toys hiding under something and then walking with it. The first movie had Woody and Buzz underneath the Pizza Planet cup and burger box walking through Pizza Planet, the second had all the toys who went to rescue Woody underneath traffic cones crossing a street, and later walking a dog's travel container through the airport terminal; the third had the toys about to be thrown away hiding under a plastic recycle bin and walking back to the garage.
      • Even more so, every film ends off with a Dance Party Ending. Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 had the most obvious examples while the original had a brief karaoke dance moment during the Christmas Party.
    • Every film, including the first, features a cover version of the iconic Toy Story theme "You've Got A Friend In Me" in the credits. The first was a duet by Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett[1], the second had an show stopping New Orleans Jazz version sung by Wheezy [2], and the final film had a very flamenco influenced version done by the Gipsy Kings [3].
    • Each film also contains an extended period with a Buzz who believes himself to be the Buzz Lightyear. The first film, obviously, has Andy's Buzz, the second film features the Utility Belt Buzz from Al's Toy Barn, and the third film features Andy's Buzz being forcibly reverted to his old personality and used as a minion of Lotso. In addition, Spanish Buzz also believes himself to be a Space Ranger, though his personality is much friendlier.
  • Parental Bonus: Oodles of it.
    "Why don't I let someone else watch the sheep tonight?"
    "What's with him?" "Laser envy."
    • Without giving away the joke, there's a moment in Toy Story 3 involving Bookworm, Barbie, and Ken, except that Ken isn't present.
      • Practically everything involving Ken. With expected results.
    • It's no accident that Mrs. Potato Head is unusually enthusiastic toward her husband when he becomes Mr. Cucumber Head.
    • Hamm had a few, non-dirty bonuses.
    (reading the Pizza Planet truck's owner's manual) "Oh, I seriously doubt he's getting this kind of mileage" (Who, Buzz or the truck's owner?)
    • "...I don't think those were Lincoln Logs."
    • At the tea party:
    Trixie: And I'm pretty sure I just came back from the doctor with life-changing news!
    • From the first film:
    Woody: Tuesday night's plastic corrosion awareness meeting was, I think, a big success. We'd like to thank Mr. Spell for putting that on for us, thank you Mr. Spell.
  • Le Parkour: Toys in general have to be pretty fast and nimble to avoid detection by humans, but Woody and Buzz in particular could give Altair and the Prince a run for their money.
  • Product Placement: Inverted. Product placement would be if they got paid to include the toys in their film. No, they had to pay for the rights to show any real-world brand of toys. So really, it's the opposite of Product Placement.
    • Though after the success of the first film, most companies approached by Pixar would doubtlessly have very low fees for placement rights.
    • Most of the toys in the first film saw huge jumps in sales. Mr. Potato Head for example was revived nearly from the scrap heap, and the Slinky Dog had been out of production at the time of the film and entered a new giant sales phase when they started making them again. So it can kind of cou nt either way.
  • Pun-Based Title: On the term 'toy store'.
  • Rousseau Was Right: The villains are either not that antagonistic or have a reason for being who they are. Sid is just a kid who is sadistic towards toys and doesn't know they are alive, Stinky Pete is a toy who just has to go to great measures at a certain point, and Lotso had to deal with abandonment and betrayal.
  • Rule 63: These livestreamsketches by Youkai Yume
  • Running Gag:
  • Scenery Porn: Any visually complex scene could be cited here, but teenage Andy's room comes to mind (All those posters in the third film!).
    • Pizza Planet in the first movie is an especially good example, given both the level of tech and the atmospheric qualities.
  • Series Mascot: Buzz Lightyear, and to a lesser extent, the LGMs function as this not only for the series, but for Pixar as a whole.
  • Serious Business: A truly interesting case; it's serious business to be and care for children's playthings. Having said that, almost non stop.
  • Shades of Conflict: The most prevalent is White and Grey Morality - Sid and Al are only "villains" from the toys' point of view, and the first movie is driven by Woody's jealousy. The third however has straight-on Black and White Morality given Lotso is evil despite the Freudian Excuse.
  • Shout-Out: Has grown enough to warrant its own page.
  • Show Within a Show: The main characters each have their own fictional franchise: Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (an animated television show and video game series) and Woody's Roundup (an old-timey puppet/marionette serial). And then Buzz Lightyear of Star Command received Defictionalization.
  • Sliding Scale of Living Toys: Level 2 (except for that one scene in Sid's yard, which takes it up to Level 3).
  • The Smurfette Principle: Bo Peep was the only prominent female character in the first film. Although she had potential, she was under utilized. This was remedied with the exuberant Affirmative Action Girl Jessie in the second and third film, as well as Mrs. Potato Head and Barbie.
  • Stealth Pun: In Toy Story 2, Woody has a nightmare about Andy throwing him away. In Toy Story 3, Woody tells the other toys he needs to get to Andy's house, which is on Elm Street. Woody had a nightmare on Elm street.
    • There's another one from Toy Story that elicits a "For Pete's sake, how did I miss that?" Woody is the leader of Andy's room — in the first movie, we see that Slinky is (or used to be) the second-in-command. A cowboy... and a "long little doggy"...
  • That Poor Cat: When Rex points a flashlight in the bushes, he inquires if it's Buzz. Then the response was that cat screeching.
  • Time Skip: The first one skips five months after Woody and Buzz get back to Andy to the last scene on Christmas Day.
    • The second takes place about one year after the first.
      • And most noticeable is the skip between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, which is about ten years.
  • Timmy in a Well: RC in the first movie, Jessie's critters in the second (Although that one was more of a parody)
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Woody goes from a somewhat whiny, selfish wimp in the first movie to a breakout mastermind by the third movie.
      • Woody was already a breakout mastermind near the end of the first film. His epic planning doesn't really shine in the second movie, but every ounce of potential he had is reached in the third film.
    • Buzz starts out delusional, has a breakdown when he finds out he's a toy, then comes right back to save himself and Woody via "Falling! With style!", before going on to rescue Woody in the second movie, and trying to save his friends from the Caterpillar Room, and rescuing Jessie while in the garbage truck.
    • The aliens go from gag characters in the first and second movies to Big Damn Heroes by rescuing the gang from the incinerator.
    • Mr. Potato Head transforms from a selfish, distrustful coward in the first movie to a married man and a daring, surprisingly resourceful action hero in the sequels.
      • Resourceful as in Tortilla Head and Cucumber Head. And how did he change forms? He SCATTERS his body parts and finds an inanimate object to use as a body, much like those parasites seen in movies. Points for Woody for coming up with that part in the escape plan.
  • True Companions: Oh hell yes. Especially pronounced in the second and third films.
  • Unusual Euphemism: A handful.
    Woody: Save your batteries! (Chill out!)
    Mr. Potato Head: Son of a building block, it's Woody! (Presumably...you know.)
    Lotso: F.A.O my Schwartz! (Reference to a toy company)
    Woody: Pull my string, the party's today?
    Jessie: Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln! (Also a reference to the fact that Tom Hanks is a distant relative of Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks.)
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Stinky Pete, which caught plenty of kids off-guard.
    • Sid after Woody Scares Him Straight.
    • Happens to Lotso in the third movie.
    • This is actually much more predictable after it happened in the second; look what happened to Pete when Woody's friends tried to get him to come back with them!
  • Water Source Tampering: One of Woody's pull string quotes.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Buzz Lightyear flying at the end of the first film, despite being shown numerous times that he can't.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Buzz in the first film who truly thinks that he is the real Buzz Lightyear before his Heroic BSoD. Then, in the second, Buzz himself encounters a doppelganger in a toy store (no pun intended) who acts exactly the same way the genuine Buzz did in the first. Lampshaded by the genuine Buzz himself during the scuffle:
    Tell me I wasn't this deluded!

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