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Tear Jerker / Toy Story 2

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Being abandoned by the person who you loved is always tough.

You ever watch Toy Story 2, where the lesbian cowgirl is abandoned by her lesbian little girl owner? Forever? And they play that really sad Sarah Maclachlan song? And everyone in the theater starts bleeding saline out of their eyes? What is the point of that scene? Plot? Character development? No, I don't think so. I think the point of that scene was to reduce you to a quivering pile of emotional afterbirth. 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. NO! GRANDMA! DON'T LEAVE ME! I'M NOT READY FOR YOU TO DIE YET! NOOOOOOO!!!!! Oh look! The dinosaur toy is on roller skates! I feel better now.
Drew Magary, on Toy Story 2

Moment pages are Spoilers Off per site policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • 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.
    Buzz: And did he give up when you threw him off the back of that moving van?
    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?
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    • 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 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 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."
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    • 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 being surrounded by a loving family that can provide a sense of safety for you...but she didn't even have that.
      • There's another comparison to be made between Woody and Jessie that is even worse: like Jessie, Woody also got knocked off the bed (albiet by some random kid at Andy's birthday party), but unlike Jessie, Woody didn't wait to be found and he just crawled right out underneath the bed like nothing happened.
    • And made even more on the worse end? Jessie was right. While Andy kept playing with his toys for a while, even he eventually left them behind. But at least he gave them a new home.
    • Before taking her to donations, Emily stows Jessie away in her purse. We then see Jessie peeking out of Emily's purse at the movies, watching with a look of absolute joy on her face, closing her eyes happily as she lays against her side. She thought Emily wanted to play with her again and everything would go back to normal...
    • Immediately after, Jessie is placed in the box for the store and crawls to the handhold in the side of the cardboard box, watching Emily drive off into the sunset with a look of absolute heartbreak on her face.
    • When Emily found Jessie under her bed after so many years, she didn't leave her there or toss her in a drawer or put her on a shelf. She donated her to a thrift store. While Jessie understandably feels abandoned, it's easy to infer that Emily simply thought, "I loved Jessie when I was a kid, but I haven't played with her in years. I should donate her so someone else can have her." To Jessie, it was the greatest betrayal and proof that Emily no longer loved her, but chances are, she thought she was doing something nice for some other kid down the line. And she probably would've been, had Al not bought Jessie first.
  • 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.
  • Early in the movie, when Woody reveals that he still has an owner in Andy, Jessie begins to hyperventilate, barely able to speak as she says "No...can't go. I can't do storage again! I just CAN'T"and when the Prospector tries to comfort her, she screams and shakes his box, saying "I WON'T GO BACK IN THE DARK!", repeatedly combing her braid as if trying to find a lifeline.
  • 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.
    • 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 out loud 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. It's also the same look he gave Woody in the first movie when the toys think that Woody killed Buzz after seeing his missing arm.
      Buzz: Let's go everyone.
      Slinky: *crushed* What about Woody?...
      Buzz: He's not coming with us.
      Rex: But...but Andy's coming home tonight!
      Buzz: Then we better make sure we're ready for him.
    • Even Utility Belt Buzz looks upset despite not knowing Woody. After spending the last few scenes talking endlessly about Zurg and Star Command 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.
    • "You're right, Prospector. I can't stop Andy from 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 TV 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 dime store 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!
  • There's also when Stinky Pete describes how "once the astronauts went up [to space], children only wanted to play with space toys", which lead to the cancellation of Woody's Roundup. Woody remarks that he knows the feeling from the previous movie, of when Andy neglected him for Buzz. Woody has since let go of his jealousy and made peace with Buzz by both becoming Andy's favorites, but he's still a little bitter from the previous negligence.
  • The beautifully sweet Background Music that plays during the scene where Woody convinces a hesitant Jessie and a gleeful Bullseye to go with him and become apart of a family again definitely counts, as well as the scene in general.
  • 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... (doubles as a Heartwarming moment to clarify that)
  • The scene where Al McWhiggin cries on the TV over losing the toys is kinda sad, even if he deserved it.
    Al: (Depressed) Welcome to Al's Toy Barn. We've got the lowest prices around. Everything for a buck, buck, buck...(Bursts into tears)''
    Hamm: (chuckles) Well, I guess crime doesn't pay.
    • 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 (Mrs. Davis) 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 Al is also shown to take very 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 extremely 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 man 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 and on the verge of a Despair Event Horizon. 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. He even looks and sounds like he's dying from what is essentially the toy equivalent of cancer or a fatal disease.
    • Even Mr. Potato Head, who led the lynch mob against Woody in the first movie, is shocked by what has happened to him.
    • 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.
      • Hell, Andy's mom when she takes Wheezy to the Yard sale can be symbolic of the trope involving the Grim Reaper taking dying people to the afterlife, or in this case, a broken toy to be sold away. Woody's sad and terrified face when he unfreezes and sees Andy's mom take him says it all.
    • The stark Mood Whiplash leading up to Woody being broken. He's all set to go to camp with Andy, who is cheerfully playing with him, and just like that, his arm rips. Having to leave at that very moment, Andy has to reluctantly leave Woody. Even the other toys are left stunned how in a mere matter of seconds, Woody has been left a shelved toy.
      Rex: *stunned* What happened?
      Mr Potato Head: Woody's been shelved.
      Bo Peep: Woody? Honey are you okay?
      Woody: (too depressed to answer, just crawls further back on the shelf where the others can't see him)
  • 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.
  • A meta version, but Jim Varney(the voice of Slinky Dog)passed away a year later following a battle with lung cancer.