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    Woody's Roundup 
Stinky Pete lied about the "Woody's Roundup" finale.
Stinky Pete told Woody that "Woody's Roundup" was cancelled without revealing if Woody and Bullseye made it across the gorge and saved Jesse and Pete. Now, whether or not this is accurate is doubtful concerning Pete later reveals how hell bent he is to go to the museum in Japan, and won't stand for Woody's crap. Also, it wasn't revealed that Jesse and Bullseye actually believed him. After all, concerning how long they've been in storage before Woody came along, there hasn't been time to check some sources, if you know what I mean. Now, before you mention the magazines Al has on the show, may I interject that even though Al is a die-hard collector of "Woody's Roundup" merchandise, I'm doubtful he has everything to complete his collection. Also, it doesn't seem Al owns a computer that would allow proof to be learned that would call out Stinky Pete's "facts".

...but, this wouldn't hold up without my #1 piece of evidence: the tape of the last episode. Not once is it made aware that the tape was removed from Al's VCR after being put in. Hell, when Pete turned on the VCR to wake up Al and stop Woody from escaping, a "Woody's Roundup" tape plays, so it's not like you can say it's the same tape! Not to mention that it, in fact, is the tape Woody plays for his friends when they come to rescue him.

Why is this important? Well, listen carefully after Buzz closes the hatch and we cut to Woody. On the TV, we hear TVJesse and TVWoody talking, with the later ending the show after. ...since it's likely that the tape playing is the tape of the final episode, well...

  • Confirmed.

Woody's Roundup has a strong Periphery Demographic of older fans in-universe.
Not just with toy collectors, but people who enjoy the show. Hence why Andy's mother was able to find Woody merchandise like bed sets despite the show being from the 1950's.

Woody's Roundup was supposed to have a darker ending, where Woody and Bullseye failed to save Jesse and Pete.
But Executive Meddling happened, and eventually the producers were so fed up with it that they quit before the last episode could be made.
  • Jossed, as later in the movie we see a happy ending for everyone in the show.

The boy that hugs the Woody puppet and resembles Andy is Andy's father as a child.
This paints the resemblance as more than coincidence, model reuse, or something like Woody seeing Andy in that epiphany. Woody belonged to a boy who grew up loving the doll and the show, whichever came first per the various "How does Woody not remember the show?" theories, so much so that he appeared on one of their broadcasts. While Woody may not remember everything about that owner from time passing or simply never having him mentioned in the films, he belonged to a boy who, after growing up, gave Woody and some of his other memorabilia as hand me downs to his own son. Seeing him on the video might have resparked that feeling, whether from recognizing it explicitly or just what Woody's foggy memory could tie it to.

This may be why Woody is so much more fixated on his "duty" as Andy's toy: it's also to respect how Andy's father, his first owner, remembered him fondly and wanted that toy to do the same for his son. You could even extrapolate this to why Woody puts so much value on Bonnie's happiness, despite her neglect of him, in Toy Story 4 even at his own risk.

It also bookends what causes Woody to turn around and choose to go back to Andy: Jessie's story convinces him to stay both in sympathy for their plight and his own concern at Andy growing up; remembering that moment brings to mind for Woody that he has in some manner experienced it before and could handle it again, even help the others like Jessie through it this time. It aligns with why he's more optimistic about the others being stored in the attic rather than taken to Daycare.

    Why does Woody not know Woody's Roundup? 
Woody doesn't remember Woody's Roundup because he isn't a real Woody's Roundup toy
Instead, he was custom-made by a very dedicated parent for their child, who would eventually grow up to be Andy's father. The Sheriff Woody dolls were so popular, they quickly sold out in all stores nation-wide. Then the show went off the air and toy production was cancelled. Andy's father was crushed, so his mom or dad went to work making an exact duplicate of the doll, recreating every single detail.
  • Seems unlikely, even if it was a very well-made knockoff there probably would be one or two telltale signs that it wasn't a real Woody. Since Al in the second movie was an avid Woody's Roundup fan and toy collector who knew a lot about the Woody toy in question, he probably would have been able to spot any signs of inauthenticity. Also if Woody was home-made, how did he get his pullstring mechanism with his catchphrases? Early talking toys like Woody (real life examples would include "Chatty Cathy" and the "See n' Say") used a system that was essentially a spring-loaded coil that spun a small phonograph record against a needle which played his phrases. Not an easy device to re-create by yourself without the proper tooling and knowledge.
  • Maybe Woody was created as a toy and the show was made afterwards in a fake Retro style.

Woody is a piece of bootleg merchandise for Woody's Roundup, not official.
  • He didn't even have to be made around the time that show still aired. Obviously, it was pretty popular and the merchandise became rare and valuable.
    • This would explain why Woody was not aware of his character's origin (or, ever thought he was the real character for that matter.) and also offers support in favor of Andy being Woody's first owner, not just his favorite.
    • While a collector like Al might take the bootleg as valuable I have my doubts that the toy museuem would and even if they did they would not put him with the other offical toys.

Woody doesn't remember Woody's Roundup because he was produced as a prop, not a toy.
He was played with a lot in the past 20 and 50 years, it gets kind of blurry for the first few decades to the point where he doesn't even recall the pre-Black Bart storylines with the more intricate scenario props. He never did have the Woody's Roundup mythos imprinted on him, as opposed to the Buzz Lightyears, Emperor Zergs, and probably Jessies, Bullseyes, and possily Stinky Petes how do I even still know this stuff!? The mass-produced Woody dolls are much lower quality than the Super Prototype made in the making of the show, and were played with much more than the secondary character toys, so few if any are left in existence outside the hands of collectors who know exactly what they can be worth. Now, if only Word of God could oh-so-conveniently mention that Andy has an aunt on his father's side of the family...
  • I'm sorry, but what does a paternal aunt have to do with this theory at all?
    • Emily? I don't even remember.

Woody was a collectible owned by Andy's dad.
From Toy Story 2, it's clear that Woody's Roundup was an old, old show and that merchandise from it ends up becoming quite collectible. Furthermore, Stinky Pete's situation seems to indicate poor sales. It seems probable that Woody was bought to be a collectible, left in storage for many years, and was only first played with when Andy came across him. It also explains Woody's jealousy of anyone getting between him and Andy in the first movie and why he doesn't remember his own show backstory.
  • Collaborate with the franchise toy theory below to fully explain Woody's situation, and Buzz too.

When the previous owner of a toy dies, that toy forgets about the previous owner and believes that the current owner always owned the toy.
Otherwise, Woody, who had to be well over 35 years old by the time Andy got a hold of him, would have struggled with the memories of his previous owner, who may have died after selling Woody, but before the movies.

The character of Woody from Woody's Round-Up had amnesia when Woody's toy was manufactured.
Since (presumably) toys like Buzz would only know about their 'character' up until the point in the franchise when they were made, that reflects their state of being. Woody was created during a cliff-hanger arc where the 'real' Woody had hit his head and lost his memory, for dramatic purposes. Like Buzz, he came out of his packaging with his character's personality... which was that of someone with no memory. Other toys told him he was a toy, but he never really 'switched' modes from 'character' to 'toy' the way Buzz did - he just accepted the explanation for lack of anything else. When he's left without anyone or anything to remind him of what's going on, he defaults back into 'amnesia' mode. That's why he doesn't remember anything prior to becoming Andy's toy. It's also part of the reason why having Andy's name on his boot is so important to him, it works like "P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney" did for Dory in Finding Nemo, and he uses it as an anchor when things start to get fuzzy, in addition to a sign of Andy's attachment to him.
  • Presumably nothin'. It's canon that Buzz doesn't know anything that happened to the Star Command-continuity Buzz after TS1 until he learns it as a toy.

Andy's playing with Woody was what made him forget his own show.
Going with the guesses above that the toys experience playtime from the human's imagination (like the opening of Toy Story 3). This is why Buzz took so long to realize he wasn't a toy, because Andy kept making him fly through space, and generally doing 'Buzz' things, like taking down Zurg's minions.

The same thing happened to Woody, but caused the opposite effect. Andy had never heard of Woody's Roundup (or, if he did, he clearly wasn't a huge fan), and just played Woody as a generic cowboy, who happened to be named Woody. Over the years, Woody just came to believe that he was a toy cowboy who just happened to be named Woody.

The "Sheriff Woody" doll predates "Woody's Roundup"
It's not unheard of for popular toys to have a movie based off of them (Barbie, for instance), so a TV show isn't too far out there. Jessie, Bullseye and Pete were based on characters created for the show, so they have all of the 'pre-set' memories, but Woody was made before the show was, which would explain him not knowing "who he is". It would also explain (aside from the main character being the most popular/hardest to come by) why Al had such a hard time finding a Woody doll— they would be much rarer than the toys who were created for the show.
  • This solves all questions related to Woody's knowledge of his franchise so well, it ought to be made canon!
    • But wouldn't there still be Woody dolls produced based on the show itself?
      • Sure, but they wouldn't be worth as much on several different levels. It's kind of like owning a first print issue of a comic book; the obvious comparison is to Action Comics #1. In this case, it's worth a lot of money because it introduced a wildly popular character (Superman) and there were 100 or fewer copies printed; our Woody, being one of the dolls that inspired the series, is worth quite a bit more money than one of the post-Roundup dolls. If I've totally missed your point and you were talking about the memory issue, then those dolls would have knowledge of Woody's Roundup, but the sheriff we all know and love would still be in the dark, since that has no impact on when he was manufactured.... Wow. I just out-nerded myself. Why doesn't that bother me more?
      • Don't worry about it, because Action Comics #1 is rare today not because so few copies were printed, but rather because so few copies survived destruction in World War II-era paper drives.

Woody was bought after Woody's Round-Up was cancelled.
Which is why he doesn't remember his backstory. If an action figure is finished while the series they come from is running, they'll think they are the real deal. Woody was completed and packaged right after his series was cancelled, and thus never fell on the delusion that he's the real thing.

The character of Woody died in the last episode of Woody's Round-Up.
Related to another WMG above, there was a "Woody's Finest Hour" episode aired where the character sacrificed himself for his friends, thus ending the series. The Woody doll Andy has was built after the final episode and, with his character no longer in existence, he retained no memories of him the way Buzz does. Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete would remember even if they were created after the final episode because their characters didn't die. This could also explain why Andy always makes Woody the hero of his games.
  • I don't agree. in the film the viewer can notice that Woody made the jump, saved everyone without dying, and singing the ending theme.

Toys only have memory of their memory in continuity.
If they go unacknowledged for too long, say their owner putting them in storage without any plans or attachment to them, they lose whatever they had from that owner as the memory fades. So for example Jessie was in storage but Al had plans for her and was attached for momentary reasons so she kept on going. That and she was probably snapped up from the second hand store almost immediately given she would have been a rarity at that point meaning there was no down time. Woody however went into storage when his time ended with whoever in Andy's family originally owned him with no plans to bring him back out anytime soon and forgot about him.

    Al 
Al got rich anyway
He sued the airline for losing his luggage, because obviously no one will suspect the toys just up and ran off. The airline might have gotten Sid to testify on their behalf, but it just made them look worse, having the crazy kid ramble about the toys being alive making them look like jackasses. Al would end up being awarded millions of dollars in the suit.

Al is the one who won the eBid auctions on both Woody and Jessie in the span of three minutes in Toy Story of Terror.
Because callbacks.
  • Confirmed in deleted scenes.

    Emily 
Emily is Andy's mom.
Emily, Jessie's previous owner, did grow up in the seventies, as portrayed by her psychedelic pink room, so she would obviously be of the older generation. And she must have lived in the same area as Andy's family if her Jessie doll ended up at one particular Al's Toy Barn in the area. The hairstyle we saw in the quick shots of Emily resembles Andy's mom's hairstyle from the first film. (Mrs. Davis switched from a ponytail to letting her hair down in the second film.)
  • I second! It would also explain why her son's favorite toy is from a TV show that aired before he was born and he is (most likely) unfamiliar with—Woody knew nothing of his "famous" origins, so presumably Andy doesn't either. Emily remembered the show from when she was growing up and decided to buy the "boy equivalent" of Jessie for her son.
  • Andy's Mom's name is Jenny Davis, and Woody was a hand-me-down from Andy's father
    • Where did you hear that her name is Jenny? Wikipedia's "Toy Story 3" article said that, and its citation led to a Twitter post by Lee Unkrich, which linked to a video of him announcing things about Toy Story 3. He said that Laurie Metcalf was coming back to do her voice but not what Mrs. Davis' first name was.
  • The cowboy hat that Andy wears when playing with Woody is identical to the one Emily wore (which is the same as Jessie's hat— red with white loops strung through the edge of the brim). When Emily put Jessie into the donation box, she included her cowboy boots and the Jessie lunchbox, but not the hat. Andy's mom may have given Andy her old Jessie hat.
  • How would Jessie never recognize her? Years apart or no, there's no way Jessie wouldn't recognize her former Owner whom she completely loved...
    • Memories fade, especially of specific facial details. Hell, Woody doesn't remember anything besides Andy at all despite being around 50. Maybe Jessie simply doesn't remember what Emily looked like, or at least what she looked like after she stopped playing as much.
    • Plus, people change a lot over the years, especially after having children, as their faces change from wrinkles, graying hair, scars from pimples and skin tags, sagging skin in places, puberty... Its quite easy to not recognize an adult woman as being the 8 year old you knew.
      • Yeah, except that Emily wasn't 8 the last time Jessie saw her; that was the day Jessie was donated, when Emily had already gone through puberty.
      • Still, it'd be near impossible to recognize a ~40 year old woman as the ~15 year old you once knew.
      • Try looking at your parents' high school yearbooks and compare their pictures therein to pictures from them in early middle age, if you don't believe it.
  • I'm still not convinced. The Cowboy dolls were popular in the 1950s, and maybe still were during the early 1960s. Emily's decorations seem to be late 60s, early 70s. Let's use backwards aging here. Let's assume the first film took place in 1995, Andy was six in that film, his mother looked younger than most mothers. Eleven years later, lets assume the third film takes place in 2006 (Andy is now 17), his mom still looks pretty young despite being 11-12 years later. Now I estimate her age at 30 in the first film, which would make her 41 by the third. 2006-41 would place her (possible) birthdate at 1965, probably too young to have been around when Jessie dolls would've been popular. I assume Emily was born in the mid-late 50s and that she sold Jessie sometime in the early 1970s. I could easily be wrong, but this is how I see their ages. If Andy's mom really is Emily, than the timeline is really compact, but personally I can't see Andy's mom being much older than 40-43. Emily could've been her older sister or something though.
  • One piece of evidence to support this: Andy'shat.
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    Jessie 
Woody and Jessie are not brother and sister
It's just a "Like Brother and Sister" or Platonic Life-Partners relationship, however the characters from the show they're based off show no signs of being related.

Jessie has a crush on Woody
The Relationship Writing Fumble seems too consistent and deliberate, and they didn't fix it for 3. Their relationship only at times fits "Like Brother and Sister" but usually it's a platonic best friend type relationship. She seems for affectionate and reliant on Woody then toward Buzz. Though this theory doesn't "ruin" her affections for Buzz either; It's not like people can't like two people at the same time or like one person more then the other.
  • Considering that Woody probably saved her life multiple times within the continuity of the TV show (even with the final episode missing) and that she spent an untold number of years waiting to be 'rescued' from storage, Jessie could easily have developed a sort of Knight In Shining Armour complex over him before they had even met.
  • Not only does Jessie like Woody but so does Buzz. It all makes sense now.

Jessie suffers from PSTD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Look up the symptoms. They match Jessie quite well. Either that or she suffers from another sort of anxiety disorder related to abandonment. She also suffers from panic disorder and claustrophobia.

Jessie strongly resembles another character in Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear franchise.
The character serves as a love interest for Buzz, which is why Buzz Lightyear toys seem to be inherently attracted to her.

In-universe, Jessie resembles a Buzz Lightyear character who didn't make it into the toyline.
Prototypes of this character were made, and the other toys in the line were designed to interact with each other, including this female character. But toy manufacturers didn't think that action figures of female characters would sell, so they never made it into the final toyline. However, the other toys still have their personalities. One of the characters was a love interest to Buzz. Jessie strongly resembles her, hence why Buzz is attracted to her no matter what mode or memories he has.

    Other 
The identical Barbie dolls that appeared during the Hilarious Outtakes of the second movie did get a part on the third.
If you can't remember, during the outtakes, Stinky Pete was seen talking to two identical Barbie dolls and tells them he's sure he can get a part for them in Toy Story 3. And he did: one of the Barbies is the main Barbie doll and the other is her stunt double.

Rex is a skilled gamer.
In Toy Story 2, the first 5 minutes is Rex playing Buzz Lightyear of Star Command on a SNES. When Andy isn't looking, Rex must be playing many other games such as Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and more. He just can't beat the final level of Buzz's first videogame.
  • To say nothing of the fact that despite his short arms he has obviously managed to get past all the other obstacles he has to get through before the Zurg boss battle.
    • Assuming all that wasn't just a cutscene.
    • Those are some pretty damn good graphics for an SNES... or a licenced game!
  • Pity about the short arms. For that matter, Trixie's MSN message might not have been what you thought it was but it sounded like a game- maybe Trixie is a tabletop gaming geek! (and thus, Bonnie will end up playing Dungeons & Dragons. And maybe Warhammer 40,000. Now that would get... interesting... I'm imagining a more Grim Dark version of the Army Men)
    • Or trying to be a backseat gamer while Rex played Army Men (the licensed video game released between TS2 and TS3).
    • Of course, this means off-brand primary color army men, as well as cowboys and indians, is more speedier since da red wunz go FASTA! Yes, Bonnie will play as da orks, her hyperactive imagination cannot be contained by mere Imperium control.

All Barbies are geniuses
With the sheer number of jobs held by Barbie dolls over the years, each Barbie should theoretically possess the skills and knowledge to be anything from a housewife to a rocket scientist to an underwater demolitions expert.
  • The exception is probably the Barbies that are structurally different and specific to the job they were packaged as- the gymnast Barbies with real jumping jack action, the ones with voice boxes, etc. Those are probably restricted to the knowledge of the job on the box, since they cannot literally become a different job Barbie with a change of outfit.
    • Who says? Speaking of which, THAT is the kind of Barbie movie they should make.
      • This Troper's mother used to have a Barbie doll who came with no clothes, and a brother (actually, multiple) who had G.I. Joe Figures (as in, the classic realistic GI Joe, not the scifi one we have today), and hence the doll often ended up in military uniforms. Can we assume that, since other girls probably did this too, Barbie also knows how to field strip and operate an M16A1?
      • Yes.
      • Canon. Mattel has sold 'Army Barbie'. There's one for the other branches. Ever consider just where Sgt Roberts learned how to take down a man and snap his neck?

Toy Story 2 takes place in the early to mid 90s
For one Rex plays a Snes type console SNES during the beginning of 2. While that wouldn't be a far cry from it being in the late 90s, most kids moved onto newer consoles. Also if this movie did take place in 2010, subtract 18 and you get 1992.
  • Tour guide Barbie says that Buzz Lightyear toys were in short supply in 1995 and A Bug's Life toys are seen in Al's Toy Barn.

Toys are only alive for as long as they are wanted by someone
All toys start pre-packaged, and most aren't self aware at all, as evident in the toy shop in 2. The only toys we see alive are the hugely popular Barbie toys, and the even more popular Buzz Lightyear of Star Command line. Because these two lines are the most popular toy lines alive, the sheer amount of kids who want them as presents is enough for the to come to life, though the Buzz Lightyears "are suspended in hypersleep".

Once they're bought, the toys become alive for as long as they're wanted. Most toys therefore stop being wanted long before they get destroyed, and those that do break slowly stop living as they're forgotten about. Such is the case of Wheezey in 2.

Since Al wanted the complete Wood's Roundup collection (albeit for profit), the toys he collected were still alive, hence how Jessie and the Prospector were still alive, despite one being abandoned, and the other never having a child owner, that want brought them to life.

Sid's toys, despite haing been blown to bits, are still wanted. He's warped in the head, and prefers his toys to look freakish, and doesn't see the harm in taking two average toys and mixing them into something he wants even more.

Lotso and Big Baby were still wanted, even though they got replaced. Lotso's owner still wanted "her Lotso" even though she was now on her second Lotso. Hence they stayed alive until they got to the nursery, where they were wanted by other kids, and continued living.

Finally Andy never wanted to give up his toys. It's obvious throughout 3 that he still wants them he just thinks he's too old to be playing with toys now. Inspite of this, he never stops wanting them, choosing to store them safely in the attic, and this wanting keeps them alive throughout all the things they endure at both the nursery and at the garbage dump.

  • Why, then, does Emperor Zurg pop out of the package to pursue Buzz in Toy Story 2, when he was never used yet?
  • Con: Nobody wanted the Stinky Pete doll before Al acquired him, yet he remembers the years spent unsold on a shelf and is bitter about it.

The Rapeface Woody is Japan's revenge on the real one.
Woody near-instantly rejected living in a Tokyo toy museum; he said it because he had to return to Andy, but Japanese toy makers saw it as an insult. So what do they do? Ruin his image by creating a doll of him wearing a Slasher Smile.
  • Oh my God. This theory...I love it. Make it canon, dagnabbit.

Geri the Toy Repairman knows that toys are alive.
That's why he treats them so well and does little things like put Woody's hat on a little personalized hat/coat rack and put a drool bib on him. He tries to treat each of his 'patients' with the same respect and dignity that he'd give a real person (possibly even more).

Stinky Pete got a happy ending
He learned the joy of being played with a got 'married' to a Barbie in the process. Or maybe hooked up with more than one. And his makeover involved giving him cooler clothes and accesories than he originally had as a Wild West prospector.
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