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Fridge Logic for the Toy Story series.

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    Fridge Brilliance 
  • Why is Angel Kitty so innocent and sweet? She's a Christmas decoration; she spends all year in the attic and just a few weeks downstairs. Well, she only comes out at Christmas, the happiest time of the year, when everybody is generous and loving! Rather than get bitter about her limited time, she knows she's a part of the celebration of joy and love and makes the most of it!
  • I always loved Toy Story, and considered it a wonderful film series, but just that. For a while, most other Pixar movies appealed to me more. It was only hours after watching Toy Story 3, driving in the car, that I came across several moments of Fridge Brilliance which make Toy Story, to me, the DEFINITIVE Pixar story:
    • First, I realized that the reason Andy only has a mother (his father is probably dead), is because Woody and Buzz Lightyear ARE Andy's Dads — or rather, his divorced, deadbeat biological father and the new one with all the money. Take into account the creator's intention, that Woody was a hand-me-down from Andy's father. Now look at the way he plays with Woody at the start of the first movie — Woody is the hero in all his plays among all the toys. He's the dad who loves his son, who's always there for him. Then in comes Buzz — expensive toy who has all the cool features, like a laser and wings; very similar, in fact, to the wife's new husband who's always able to buy his stepson all the more expensive gifts, which the son pays more attention to — completely ignoring his real dad (Woody) who tries really, really hard to get his son's attention — to the point that his jealousy compels him to drive the rival away (take the 'Pizza Planet' incident, which is like a family outing — Andy picks Buzz over Woody). At that point, the whole movie is about these three characters coming to terms with where they stand. Woody realizes that it's unfair to deprive Andy of a second father figure, with whom he essentially begins to share custody of their boy — he and Buzz are BOTH the heroes of Andy's games. Buzz in turn realizes that Andy doesn't love him because he's rich and gives a lot (ie: is a Space Ranger) but because Andy enjoys his company. And Andy realizes that while he loves Buzz for being brand new, he adores Woody even more, because Woody's always been there for him (in a line in Toy Story 3, he says that he's had Woody "as long as I can remember").
    • Second, if you take the 'toys-as-parents' theme as true, a lot of the character's reactions in Toy Story 3 make sense. Woody is the character who is most reluctant to part from Andy, because he's worried about Andy not having Woody watching over him anymore — he doesn't want to no longer be part of his 'son's' life. At the end of the film, he witnesses a Heartwarming exchange between Andy and his mother. Woody then realizes that Andy will never forget him, or the other toys, and would always love them — just like any child who appreciates all their parents do for them. He realizes, further, that there are other children who could use the toys' love, like Bonnie.
    • Third, it's through these particular realizations that it hit me why Lotso is the series' best villain. He is Woody — or rather, he is what Woody could have BECOME, if his jealous streak in the first film had been allowed to fester throughout. Remember that Lotso was replaced — with a look-alike, no less. This to him is like a child who doesn't respect what he was to her — a little girl who no longer cares about her parent and gets a new model, rather than respecting his memory or waiting for him to get back. For all WE know, Lotso and his friends may have been walking for just a day before they returned, to find that Daisy has abandoned him. Compare this to Andy, who held out hope that he could find Woody AND Buzz — he was even seen to cry at the thought that he'd leave them behind. As such, Lotso ultimately became evil not just because he was hurt, but because he believed that he had no reason to exist — and he took out this bitterness on other toys to try and validate his own worth. Think about Stinky Pete's words in the second film, how children destroy and forget their toys when they grow up — they don't need them, just like they don't need their parents anymore. Lotso sees toys in general as disposable to those they give their hearts to — their children, just like the kids who live off their parents and never show their apreciation. Andy, however, is one of those whose heart is always in the right place — the child who doesn't need his parents anymore, but will still remember to call or visit them just to check up. All the kids with names are different interpretations of how kids view their parents. The Sids of the world don't really care in the long run, as long as they can get their immediate thrills; the Emilys throw away the old when they don't need them anymore; and the Daisys replace them. And then we have the Andys and Bonnies — the kids who recognize that everything they are is because of their parents, who have been with them their whole childhoods, watching over them. Woody finds a reason for being in making the children happy (which drives his decision to be donated to the sweet, loving Bonnie). Lotso has no reason to go on without Daisy, and does terrible things to try and find one — in turn, becoming an empty being who is "not worth it". He spends the rest of his foreseeable life in the dump. My God, the writers at Pixar, especially John Lasseter, now really are my favorite filmmakers in the world.
    • Fourth, at the the end of Toy Story 3, where Andy plays with Bonnie and relives his childhood through the toys. It's not a coincidence that Bonnie's a girl — Andy has a little sister of his own. Also he says he said goodbye to Molly, but the two of them aren't seen to really interact much except arguing. He trusts his toys more to a girl he's known for only a few minutes than to his own sister. Also he's most reluctant to part with Woody — the remnant of his dead father. Giving him to Bonnie is like saying "You're part of the family, so you'd better love this guy just as much as I did". It's an interesting parallel, and keeps Andy's sister, Molly, from being just a throwaway character — Andy quickly relates better to a like-minded child like Bonnie than to his own little sister, who is seen throwing away her loyal and cherished Barbie without a moment's hesitation.
      • Molly is middle school aged. What use would a teenager have for the toys Andy played with since he was a small child?
    • Toy Story 4 also has some interesting food for thought about the "toys as parents" concept. Having said goodbye to his grown "son" Andy at the end of the third movie, Woody's struggle is like a typical empty nester's. His situation with Bonnie can be viewed as similar to a parent's attempt to fill the void after his child leaves home by taking care of another child: as a teacher, a babysitter, a foster parent, a grandparent, etc. But he can't share with Bonnie what he shared with Andy, both because she prefers her other toys and because he still misses Andy too much – just like another child with parents of their own can never replace your child. Alternatively, we could also view Bonnie as being Woody's own metaphorical child, with her loss of interest in him also representing her growing up and leaving home. In this view, Woody is like a parent who still centers his life around his adult child, always wanting to be near her and make sure she's okay. But like all empty nesters, he eventually realizes she doesn't need his constant care anymore and that he should find a life purpose that fills his own needs, even if it means moving to a new town or state and not seeing her as often. Bo Peep's happy life as a "lost toy," which Woody can't comprehend at first but ultimately appreciates, also mirrors the experience of women who choose to be child-free, defying cultural expectations of Mandatory Motherhood and Female Success is Family.
  • In Toy Story 3, Woody shows just how old of a toy he really is. When informing Bonnie's toys that he's off to college with Andy, he says that he'll "see you [Dolly] at the 'sock hop'", sock hops being a type of dance held at high schools and colleges in 1950's. Being a 60 year old toy, his knowledge of young people's habits outside of what he observed with Andy would in fact be incredibly outdated! Also, in response to the previous statement, Dolly calls Woody "Potsie", a reference to the character on the show Happy Days, which was set in the 1950's! Finally, during the credits when Buzz and Jessie are dancing, and all the other toys are dancing in place around them, Woody is snapping his fingers and slightly shaking his hips left to right, dancing almost like someone from the 1950's would!
    • Woody's original TV show, which was black and white and seemed of the same quality as programs like Howdy Doody, would add credibility to the above troper's theory. But a second moment of fridge brilliance was sparked in me after reading the other troper's post. In the second movie, Stinky Pete says that the reason they fell out of popularity was "Sputnik". I had always figured that he was just using a throwaway space term that people would recognize as an allusion, like if their positions had hypothetically been reversed, a space toy might say that the "Lone Ranger" caused his downfall. But in light of the above post, it seems that he was actually referring to the Sputnik! The cowboy toys had existed before the launch of Sputnik (1957), and Stinky Pete had been minted early enough to actually remember it as the moment that their popularity waned.
    • The launch of Sputnik caused the rise of space toys and the fall of cowboy toys. Woody has bad memories of space toys: he was replaced by one when he was young. And who else is a space toy? Exactly: Buzz Lightyear. There's the reason that Woody was the only one that didn't like Buzz in the original movie: he thought he was going to be replaced again.
  • In each of the three films, when the moment of Woody's inevitable Cassandra Truth arrives, it might seem coincidental that Mr. Potato Head and Hamm are the first or loudest to disbelieve him, except for when you remember that in Andy's imagined games, Mr. Potato Head and Hamm are Woody's two main antagonists. Either Andy was somehow able to sense their already existing mild rivalry with Woody when assigning them roles in his games, or because of their roles in his games, the two eventually came to adopt said mild rivalry with Woody outside of Andy's imagination.
    • It's not just Mr. Potato Head and Hamm whose roles in Andy's games affect their 'off the clock' behavior; In the Strange Days montage, Woody is seen as Buzz's foe, and summarily defeated and Bo thanks him for saving her sheep in the initial play sequence. It isn't until after both Buzz and Woody become friends that they are on the same side.
  • The first entry at the top of the section about toys as parents is one of the most ingenious things I've ever read, so I don't want to ruin that, but, after watching the trilogy again with that in mind, I've noticed that, while it's definitely true for Buzz and Woody, the relationship can be tweaked for toys with different owners, or possibly for female toys in general, and I recognized why the filmmakers did that; it allows these characters to be built a little differently to Buzz and Woody, and have distinct stories or motivations that suit their character better. Let's look at the two most prominent examples, in my mind: Barbie treats getting dumped by Molly like a bad breakup, which is definitely a deliberate Stealth Pun on Pixar's part, and, despite being kind of played for laughs, this ultimately sets up the state of mind which leads into her story with Ken and the others in the third movie, while Jessie's story with Emily plays out an awful lot like child abandonment or neglectful parenting, with being donated at the end ringing a lot like being shoved off to social services and into foster care, establishing her emotional baggage and her fears about moving in with a new adoptive family, although she finally finds one with Andy. There is a lot of emotional complexity in these movies, which is what makes them such works of genius. —Badgersprite
    • Wait..Buzz is Andy's stepfather...Jessie is Andy's adopted daughter...realize Buzz/Jessie is canon, right?
    • The toys as individual relations to children as opposed to all as parents seems true. However Buzz does not have to be Andy's step dad. He's more like a cool guy to Andy. Its more like a father finding out that they are not their kids number one hero but some TV cop instead. Buzz later becomes Woody's best friend aka toy father figures best friend. Buzz did not even acknowledge Andy's existence except to note his success at integrating into the primitive culture. Emily and Jessie can be seen many ways. They might have bean more like sisters who used to be close but Emily became a teenager. They used to play together but suddenly Emily made friends her own age has teenage stuff to do and does not want Jessie hanging on. They used to go camping and go to the park now Emily's busy painting her nails and talking on the phone. They could be best friends that grew apart when Emily grew up a lot faster than Jessie. Emily was reminiscing about how they used to play in that park together. Jessie hoped Emily was ready to give up her teenage ways and play with her again but Emily was reminiscing about the good times she used to have and was done with. The way she talks to Woody reminds me of somebody whining about their friend who will not shut up about their boyfriend.
    • There's also evidence, mostly through the semi-vague semi-blunt lines in the song 'When Somebody Loved Me', that Jessie may have loved Emily not just as a best friend, but almost like a real lover, as in they're the only one that you want in your life, nobody else could ever compare. It doesn't have to be an 'adult' relationship, it could just be that Jessie valued Emily so much she didn't ever want to be without her. Listen to the song again, and really pay attention to the lyrics this time, some lines could be interpreted as a break-up of a lesbian couple, about how she isn't around anymore, she was the only one that made her happy, and now she's gone to do other things, but she still hasn't been forgotten. It could be that Jessie, like so many people in the real world, was in a relationship that was so good she hoped it'd last forever, only for it to break apart painfully and tragically, the result being that she feels incapable of loving anyone else the way she did with her first love. But in time she discovers that the initial pain can fade with the help of others, and that she can overcome her fears of losing someone else. If you choose to look at it as a story of a broken relationship between two lovers, it gains a whole new level of intrigue
  • There are a number of people who feel that Lotso's backstory is too generic for a Pixar movie. But when you think about it, Lotso is almost an alternate Woody. Imagine that Woody, loving Andy, had missed the truck in the first movie. Obviously that would not stop him, but had he gotten there to find he'd been replaced (ignore for a minute that Woody toys are 50 years out of production), it's possible that he too would snap.
    • Except — they weren't aiming for the truck. They went directly to Andy. If they had gone to the truck, Andy would have lost all hope for Woody and his mom would have probably replaced him, just in time for Woody to get out of the box and see his replacement. The "not aiming for the truck" scene wasn't some generic cliche: its only because Buzz and Woody cared so much for Andy that they got a happy ending. Oh Fridge Brilliance, what can't you fix?
      • Is it wrong that I read "had missed the truck" and "they weren't aiming for the truck" in Woody and Buzz's voices?
      • Nope.
      • You and me both, buddy.
  • There's a theory that's made its rounds online that Emily, the girl who first owned Jessie, is Andy's mom.
  • Bullseye doesn't run like a normal horse so much as throw his legs around wildly. Anyone who ever had a toy horse growing up probably did the same kind of this (i.e. shake them up and down) to make them look like they're galloping.
  • Many people have noticed that the Toy Story movies have a lot of Star Wars references in them. note  But why all these references? Well, the original Star Wars was essentially a sci-fi western. And Toy Story is all about the blending of these two genres in the form of its two main characters - Buzz and Woody.
  • Around the end of the first movie, Rex says that he hopes Andy gets a "leaf-eating dinosaur" for Christmas so he can play the dominant predator. Rex actually does get his wish fulfilled eventually, as he befriends Trixie, a herbivorous triceratops, as of Toy Story 3.

    Fridge Horror 
  • The premise of the series in general. Toys don't age, and are hypothetically capable of living for centuries as long as they're well cared for. Judging by the third movie, however, it seems that toys possess a natural self-preservation instinct that persists much, much longer than the lifespan of the average toy; even those which have lived extraordinarily long and fulfilling lives still intensely fear death. Put these things together. All toys will one day die violently and in fear. This is probably the only way they can die. If it isn't: the odds are overwhelmingly against most toys lasting as long as Andy's favorite's do, since humans have no idea toys are living things, and think nothing of subjecting toys to abuse, neglect, product recall, incineration, waste compaction, and burial alive (the last three being what happens to toys sent to a landfill). For every toy in the world that is deeply loved, how many are lonely unfavorites or poorly-made junk doomed to be thrown out when they break three days after purchase? How many are quietly disposed of by retailers after they fail to sell during the holiday season? Did we mention that toys are apparently alive from the point of manufacture, even when they're never removed from their original packaging? And that they're apparently capable of claustrophobia? Oh, wait. Toy Story 2 mentioned both those things in the same scene.
    • The lives toys lead could be perceived as a form of slavery mixed with a dose of Stockholm Syndrome. Think about it. Toys have little or no control over the fates the humans choose for them. Their friends and love interests can be given away, sold off, or tossed out on a whim. The main characters themselves suffered abandonment, abuse, and being shut away in dark boxes for years, all at the hands of these otherwise beloved humans. Even the toy villains had been affected by this treatment by humans, experiencing rejection and abandonment, the very things that turned them evil. Yet these human owners (and “owners” was the term emphasized in these films) are the ones they love above all, even more than their fellow toys.
    • All the toys you played with as a child were alive. All of them. Those times your parents stepped on them? The time you switched their arms around? They were aware of it all. And when they went into the toy box they were alone. Alone in complete darkness.
    • It's hard to know how much pain they feel. They don't seem to hurt when decapitated, or if a limb falls off. But being ripped apart or set on fire is obviously not something they enjoy.
    • Your toys can see you playing with something else.
      • As seen in this comic.
      • Not only that — how many toys have witnessed their masters — the people they loved most — being raped, murdered, or otherwise, while completely unable to do anything about it? And since they're immortal and there probably aren't any toy therapists they'll carry these memories for the rest of their unnaturally long lives, with no way to deal with them.
      • Imagine what it must be like to be a sex toy in the Toy Story universe.
      • I somehow imagine sex toys in this universe as being hilariously perverted but also surprisingly friendly.
      • What about a dog toy? Get ripped to shreds in a week.
      • So what you're saying is that the dog toys are the lucky ones? Since they have a smaller chance of being dumped and buried alive.
      • Even worse, in the second and third movies it is shown that toys are apparently allowed to reveal their identities to animals, so most dogs probably know that their toys are alive, but rip them to shreds anyway!
      • You got a friend in MADtv (1995)!
    • Being put in the toy box doesn't mean they have to stay there; once all the humans are gone, the toys can do whatever they want as long as no one sees them. And maybe the toy box is like their bed or something?
      • That seems to be the case — in the first movie, Woody acts a lot like he's just woken up when he climbs out of the toybox. (The scene in particular is just before the shark pops out wearing his hat.)
    • Some of the toys children play with are insane and motivated to seek revenge. They can squeeze through the tightest of spaces and survive far more damage than any living creature. They know where you sleep. They know where you keep your knives. Sweet Dreams.
      • Combining this with a piece of Fridge Horror farther down the page, what about the toy versions of evil characters? Since they (at least at first) have the same personality as their fictional counterpart, they would just as bad as they are — and while the plastic weapons they came with wouldn't be effective, it wouldn't be particularly hard to gain access to some actual weapons. There have probably been at least a few people that were murdered by toys.
  • Parts of the toys remain alive when they're separated from the body, or are conscious entities in and of themselves (Slinky's tail, for instance). So, two things, both in the same vein of thought. What about the toys who are labelled choking hazards, and swallowed by small children, either as a whole or in parts? Or worse, the toys that have lead based paints? The toys only ever wanted to be loved, but in the process they killed the very person who brought meaning to their life.
    • Sid probably threw all his toys out after the end of the first film. Which means they probably got incinerated.
      • He might have given them to his little sister (which would make sense, considering that she liked "adopting" his abused toys).
      • Or sold them to a yard sale. Or collectors. Or that toy museum in Japan from the second movie (for an exhibit about Mix-and-match toys or something)
    • Maybe the lead-painted ones are maniacs.
    • Lotso assigned the new toys to the Caterpillar Room because they were "running low on volunteers" (like he'd care if a toy volunteered or not) and because new toys are stronger and hardier. Here's the thing: he couldn't have cared less whether those toys were safe for the toddlers. Most of Andy's toys are all one piece, but Slink's coil was metal and a kid could have cut his hand. Plus the Potato Heads' pieces are small, and one kid was shoving an eye up his nostril; it would be easy to choke on those. Who knows what other less-than-safe toys got thrown in the Caterpillar Room over the years?
      • They probably tried to escape or were broken.
    • Imagine being a toy that accidentally killed their child after they swallowed you, you got stuck, and despite your best efforts couldn't prevent it. Or being a small toy that actually fit through and went through their whole system.
  • Rewatching the first movie after watching the third movie brings up two pieces of horror/brilliance that used to be just for comedy the first time around. First of all after Woody's night sleeping in the toy box since Buzz took his spot on the bed, Bo Peep tries to comfort him by telling Andy will always have a special place for him. Mr. Potato Head comes in and snarks "Yeah, the attic." Also, when Andy's mom drives off to Pizza Planet while Woody and Buzz were outside of the car, now it's horrifying to see Woody gasp and cry out "I'm lost! *sob* I'm a lost toy!" especially after we see what happened to Lotso and his gang of lost toys.
  • Some more Fridge Horror: all the toys have distinct personalities and identities. On top of that, the toys don't seem to die unless they're completely obliterated. After all, Wheezy can still speak without a squeaker, Woody doesn't seem to be in immense pain from his arm being only partially connected, and the Potato Heads even have control of their unattached body parts. Now, think back to Sid's toys. Most of Sid's toys were combinations of two or more other toys. Now, what does that mean for the toys' previous identities?
    • For that matter, how would customized OOAK dolls and other such art projects work in this universe? Sure, many of those turn out a lot nicer than Sid’s toys, but still...
  • Buzz has shown that toys can believe that they're the real thing. If so, what happens when a really dangerous and ''evil'' character gets a toy based off them?
    • They're as ineffective at causing mayhem with their blunted plastic weapons as Buzz himself was ineffective at doing anything with his really-just-a-lightbulb laser?
      • I remember seeing action figures made of Kratos, the main character in the game series God of War, who specializes in murdering giant gods and titans despite his relative lack of power in comparison. Kratos would not let a plastic sword stop him and would find a way to murder those "gods" he thought were keeping him as a slave (ie human owners of a Kratos action figure, who would probably be adult collectors rather than kids mostly)
    • And for those that play the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game, try and have fun imagining your pieces causing total mayhem when you are not around.
    • Imagine toys based on Creepypastas (Slenderman, Jeff the Kiler etc.) exist in the Toy Story-verse. are they toy equivalents of Serial Killers?
    • Toys have a subconscious instinct to stop moving when interacting with humans. They can decide to fight this instinct but they likely can't if they don't actually realise they're a toy as they wouldn't know what was going on.
    • There's nothing to suggest a toy absolutely has to be evil because of a character they're based off of. A toy based on an evil character could very well be benevolent, especially if they come to realize they're just a toy.
    • Small Soldiers. That's what.
    • Just because you are Bad Guy does not mean you are bad guy...
    • Haven't we technically seen an example of this in Emperor Zurg? He like Buzz thinks he is the real thing and is evil like the character he is based off of. That is, until his Heel–Face Turn at the end. Also Stinky Pete is evil even though his character is supposed to be a good guy. (Compared to Stinky Pete, however, Emperor Zurg is harmless.)
  • One of Sid's toys was a Pteranodon from the first line of Jurassic Park toys. Assuming the rest of the JP toys exist in the Toy Story universe, many of them come with a patch of skin, usually on the flanks, that can be removed to reveal a nasty wound underneath. Imagine how incredibly painful this must be for those toys when their owners make a carnivore yank that little chunk of flesh off. Or how nasty it might be to get repeatedly muzzled and shackled, as many figures came with “capture gear.” Rex is so lucky he's not a JP dinosaur toy.
    • While the toys do seem to feel discomfort in some ways, they don't seem to feel pain as we know it. Mr Potato Head is never bothered by losing his limbs, and Woody isn't bothered by losing his arm — and he's not designed for that. Buzz isn't even pained when he's actively opened up with a screwdriver by Lotso's goons, and then again by Jessie and her team.
      • Yet Woody is definitely hurt when Sid burns his head with a magnifying glass. It could be that they're not hurt by anything they're designed to do, which would explain Mr. Potato Head being able to detach his pieces at will, and Buzz being unscrewed, but wouldn't explain why Woody's arm being torn doesn't seem to cause him any physical pain.
      • Toys feel pain while they are being hurt. In this case, Woody continued to burn from the effect of the magnifying glass after Sid had already left. Woody also screams in pain when Stinky Pete rips his shoulder in 2, but doesn't feel pain in the "wound" after he stops. Similarly, Buzz lost his entire arm without realizing it and fell no pain in the "wound" afterwards.
      • Perhaps the "pain" is merely psychosomatic?
  • Toys owned by abused kids. Leaving aside the horrible idea that toys are basically forced to watch whatever happens in front of them when they can't move, children often re-enact abusive behavior in their play, and we see in Toy Story 3 that the toys being played with see the scene the way their kid is imagining it in the moment. Worse, how many children are diagnosed with a mental illness because their favorite toys just couldn't hold their tongues anymore?
    • If a child is being abused, seeing their toys come alive would probably the least scarring thing to happen to them, especially if said toys save them from their abuser. Sure, they'd probably be scared at first, but that fear would likely quickly subside once they realized the toys were trying to help them.
    • I don't think that was OP's point. I think what they meant was that an abused child would be victimized by Cassandra Truth if such a thing happened. I mean, hey, would you believe a small child if they told you that their toys came to life and saved them from being beaten by their parents?
  • None of the toys seem to be unique, and there are others just like them. Imagine existing in a world you don't "rule" and finding out that the those who rule over you have produced thousands, if not millions, of you. After all, Woody is mistaken for the Woody on TV, and is understandbly confused about it. Sure, the films treat it like it's almost nothing, but imagine if a depressed toy found out they are not unique in any way, or that some poor, innocent toy got hurt because someone mistook them for an another one. Are there toy stereotypes? Is there toy bigotry?
  • Imagine being a toy picked for product testing. Watch here and tell me it’s not terrifying to imagine.
  • Also imagine being a crash test dummy whose whole purpose is to be put in cars and subjected to high speed crashes. Yikes.
  • This is sort of a cross between Nightmare Fuel and Fridge Horror, but what would happen if evil humans who have voodoo possess the toys with their own spirits when they are close to death (If they are enar a toy via a toy store) (ala Chucky from Child's Play), then that'll men two things for the toys either: the original identity of the toy will die, or the identity would be placed in mind control, unaware of it's actions against humans if the toy murders people.
  • The worst of all is the toys being remodified and even destoyed to have their parts used on other toys and even resculpting can be a horror to their persective.