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Western Animation / Toy Story 4

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This page contains unmarked spoilers for Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. You Have Been Warned!
"I was made to help a child. I don't remember it being this hard."

Toy Story 4 is the fourth installment of the Toy Story franchise, and the twenty-first CGI animated feature made by Pixar. Josh Cooley made his directorial debut on the film, which was released on June 21, 2019.

Taking place after Toy Story 3, the movie shows how Andy's toys are doing under Bonnie's care... and while most of them are having just as much fun as usual, Sheriff Woody has started to be forgotten by her during playtime, and he's not very happy about it. During Bonnie's orientation day at kindergarten, Woody secretly tags along and inadvertently helps her create Forky, a makeshift toy made from a spork and various other items, which, much to Woody's shock, subsequently acquires sentience. Despite the other toys trying to make him feel like part of the gang, Forky believes that he is just trash like his components and wants nothing to do with Bonnie or the others. Woody makes it his duty to keep Forky out of the trash can since Bonnie is so attached to him.


During a family road trip a day later, Woody and Forky end up falling out of the RV, and when they catch up after it stops at a carnival, Forky gets stuck in the local Second Chance Antique Store. Fortunately for Woody, he discovers that his long-lost friend Bo Peep has made a home in the area (after having been donated many years ago), now living as a "lost toy" with no owner. With the help of Bo, Buzz Lightyear, and a host of new toys, Woody sets out to save Forky before the family RV leaves.

New characters include Forky (Tony Hale), Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), Giggle McDimples (Ally Maki) and Ducky and Bunny (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, respectively).

Further new Toy Story material will be released on Disney+ towards the end of 2019, namely the 10-episode short series Forky asks a Question (starring Forky) and the short Lamp Life, which is partly made of a Deleted Scene from Toy Story 4 and details Bo Peep's life after she was separated from Andy's other toys.


Please move any character tropes to the proper character page.

Previews: Teaser. Teaser "Reaction", Trailer, International Trailer.

Toy Story 4 provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Buzz and Jessie's relationship building over the two previous films is never touched upon at all in this film. Instead, the focus is shifted over to Woody and Bo's relationship and reunion.
  • Accidental Misnaming: When Woody is reunited with Bo Peep's sheep, he remembers their names wrong. Justified, as he did not know they had names until shortly before they were given away.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adult Fear: The scene of the anonymous little girl shivering and sobbing in the shadow of a carny tent, unnoticed by anyone (except the toys) and particularly any adult, will give every parent who watches it chills.
  • An Aesop:
    • You can't wait for life to happen, sometimes you've got to go out and do it.
    • You're never too old to redefine yourself. As important as it is to help others, sometimes you've just got to let yourself be happy.
    • Every child is different, and what they want or need differs from case to case.
    • There's always someone out there worth your time and attention.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Downplayed: Woody's struggle in the previous movie over deciding if he should go with Andy to college or not effectively becomes this due to Bonnie losing interest in him in favor of the other toys and his ultimate decision to stay with Bo at the end.
    • Similarly downplayed, but then subverted outright: Gabby's desire to get her voice box fixed in order to attract the attention of Harmony ultimately doesn't pan out simply due to Harmony not being interested in her. However, as Woody makes it clear to her, Harmony wasn't her only option.
  • And the Adventure Continues:
    • In the end, Woody decides to remain with Bo and her toy gang, and they join the carnival in travelling the world and helping lost toys find their owners along the way.
    • Meanwhile, Jessie takes up leadership at Bonnie's house and continues to look after Bonnie in Woody's place. A year later, during her first day in First Grade, Bonnie makes another toy out of trash similar to Forky. Forky, who by now has grown accustomed to being Bonnie's toy, tries to show the new toy the ropes like how Woody did for him.
  • Angrish: Bonnie's dad's reaction to seeing a flat tire on their RV.
  • Anti Climax Cut: Buzz, Ducky and Bunny try to come up with plans to get the cabinet key from the store owner (the ones they come up with are all unnecessarily violent). Later, when they appear with the key and Woody asks them they how they got it, we cut to how they pulled it off: The owner simply set it down in front of them and walked off. What's more, we had cut away from the group right as Buzz asks himself how they are going to get it, and it turns out that we had cut away literally right before she put the keys down.
  • Arc Words: "Inner voice."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Bo gives a What the Hell, Hero? to Woody for futilely trying to help Forky just so that Bonnie can be happy. Woody admits to Bo that it's the only thing he still has left ever since Bonnie stopped playing with him. Bo angrily asks, "And the rest of us didn't count?"
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Bo gives two of these to Woody:
    • As Woody tries to convince her to let him save her from being donated, he tells her how much Andy needs her. Bo reminds him that she's not Andy's toy, she's Molly's - and Molly doesn't need Bo anymore.
    • When Woody chastises Bo, saying that a lost toy wouldn't understand loyalty, she replies, "I'm not the one who's lost."
  • Artistic License – Engineering: While there were indeed talking dolls with a voice box that is easy to remove if not user-serviceable, given Gabby's age as presumably an early-model Gabby Gabby doll, it would in reality be extremely difficult to remove and reinstall her voice box. Not to mention excruciating for both Gabby and Woody.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • In the first two films, Bo Peep was a minor character with no real bearing on the story outside of her relationship with Woody, and she was completely absent in the third. Here, she serves as a deuteragonist to Woody and plays a major role in allowing the plot to happen.
    • Bonnie's unnamed father only appeared in the background of the ending of the previous film. He has a much more prominent supporting role in this film alongside his wife.
  • Back for the Finale: Assuming this is indeed the last theatrical entry in the Toy Story series:
    • It's appropriate that Andy and his family get to make a reappearance via a flashback opening that takes place between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
    • Bo Peep and her sheep, putting an end to a decade of speculation about her fate.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Parodied in the backroom at the antiques shop where Bo takes Woody; it's inside of a pinball machine.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Gabby Gabby meets Harmony, who gives her a long look that suggests she may adopt her. And then gives an unceremonious "Nah" before leaving.
    • "She'll be okay... Bonnie will be okay."
  • Bittersweet Ending: Gabby Gabby now has an owner; Forky is reunited with the rest of Bonnie's toys; and Bo and Woody are reunited as well. However, Woody decides to stay at the traveling carnival with Bo, meaning it's all but certain that he'll never see Buzz, Jessie, or the other toys again. All Woody knows is that wherever he goes, he'll always have his loved ones in his heart.
  • Black Comedy:
    • The entire Running Gag of Forky attempting to get thrown into the trash. If this was a live-action film, it'd more or less be a character attempting to commit suicide repeatedly. This is further emphasized through the song Randy Newman sings during the RV montage: "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away".
    • Ducky and Bunny devise plans where they outright assault the old lady that runs the shop in order to get the key and even going as far as finding her address and attacking her in her sleep.
  • Body Horror:
    • Bonnie's dad accidentally steps on Woody's face, making it contort grossly. Woody easily fixes himself moments later.
    • Keeping with the series tradition, Woody accidentally pops Bo's arm off, revealing that it's been broken for a while.
    • In the antiques shop, Woody's voice box is almost completely ripped out of his back when the rescue attempt from the china cabinet goes south.
  • Book-Ends: Provides some for the entire franchise:
    • In the first film, Woody meets Buzz for the first time; at the end of this film, he leaves Buzz presumably for good when he stays behind with Bo.
    • Toy Story 3 ended with Woody and the toys being donated to Bonnie. This film ends with Woody leaving Bonnie behind.
    • The prologue ends with Woody refusing to go with Bo while she is being donated; the film proper ends with Woody accepting the chance to stay with her.
    • Toy Story's plot and this film's plot both hinge on a toy falling out of a window. Dolly even lampshades this later on when Buzz rushes out of the window to find Woody:
    • During the final act of Toy Story, Woody gets involved in a tug-of-war that results in the stitching in his arm popping, resulting in it ripping in the following film. Here, Woody gets involved in a tug-of-war involving his pull-string that results in his voice box almost getting ripped clean out of his back. This winds up adding credibility to the point the cleaner Al had hired made: "You handle him too much, he's not gonna last."
    • Part of the climax of Toy Story hinged on Woody pretending his voice box was acting up in order to "talk" to Sid directly. Here, when trying to figure out how to stop the RV from leaving so that Bonnie can get her backpack, Buzz cycles through his own voice box sayings to try and get advice. This causes Bonnie's parents to think he's acting up and decide to put him away, causing him to shout out about the backpack right as he's being put inside.
    • When Bonnie is playing with her toys at the start, rather than grabbing Woody, she grabs his sheriff badge and has Jessie be the sheriff. At the end of the film, before parting ways with the others to stay with Bo, he gives Jessie his badge.
    • After Bonnie's Kindergarten orientation, Woody presents Forky, with Jessie introducing a similar toy Bonnie makes a year later. The introduction of a Love Interest for Forky mirrors his own beginning, and also how Mr. Potato-Head found his Mrs. at the end of the first Toy Story.
    • In Toy Story 2, Woody (initially) refuses to return home with his group in order to become a collectible in Tokyo. At the end of this film, Woody again declines to return home and instead stays with Bo Peep to help other ownerless toys, but this time he is utterly certain with his decision: that, and he and Buzz part ways on much better terms than before.
    • The end of Toy Story 3 shows Woody warmly bidding Andy "so long, partner", saying farewell to the owner he's had since the first film. This film ends with him part ways with Buzz, thus saying goodbye to another partner he's had since the start.
    • The plot of Toy Story was built around Woody becoming lost and trying to get back to Andy before he moved. This film ends with Woody staying behind with Bo as Bonnie's family leaves in the RV, effectively becoming lost (although Buzz tells Rex he isn't really).
    • Toy Story always opens up with the title's background being a clear blue sky full of cloudsnote . The story ends closing on a starry night sky.
    • The first Toy Story started life as a TV special based on Pixar's short film Tin Toy, starring Tinny as the main character. Here, the production cycle comes full-circle with Tinny making a cameo appearance in this film.
    • The opening credits are a montage of Andy — and later Bonnie — playing with Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the other toys during the time periods of all four films in the series, all with the world-famous "You've Got a Friend in Me", unaltered, playing in the background. Not only is it a loving Call-Back to the first film's opening (and the third), it's also a perfect start to what may be the end.
    • One of the last musical cues heard in the film as Woody leaves to be with Bo is the same cue used to introduce Woody at the beginning of the first movie. Compare the track "Parting Gifts and New Horizons (starting at 4:04)" to "Andy's Birthday." (starting at 0:48)
  • Broken Pedestal: Gabby looked to Harmony as the child who would adopt her and have tea parties with her and make her feel complete, if only she had a perfect voice box. Yet, when Harmony finally meets Gabby in peak condition, Harmony takes one look at her and dismisses her, destroying Gabby's view of her as the ideal child.
  • Buffy Speak: Forky doesn't know what a merry-go-round is; however, when he's taught the concept, he immediately understands it to be a carousel.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Bo returns after being written out of the third film.
    • RC, who was also one of the toys absent from Toy Story 3, makes an appearance in the opening scene set before the point where he was donated or given away.
  • But Now I Must Go: An inverted one at the end: Buzz all but directly tells Woody that it's okay to stay with Bo and leave Bonnie behind.
    Buzz: She'll be okay. ...Bonnie will be okay.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Gabby Gabby asks Woody when he was made, Woody guesses sometime in the 1950s, recalling the Woody's Roundup cartoon that he learned about in Toy Story 2.
    • During their hike to the RV park, Woody tells Forky the tale of Buzz's arrival in Andy's room and how he believed he was a real Space Ranger.
  • Calling a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Contemporary variant: Forky winds up briefly tripping Woody up when he attempts to rescue him from the china cabinet when he calls a "merry-go-round" a "carousel".
  • The Cameo:
    • All of Bonnie's toys that appear in the closet along with Woody are played by veteran actors with punny names: Melephant Brooks, Chairol Burnett, Bitey White, and Carl Reineroceros (Carl Reiner).
    • Bill Hader plays a carny at one point.
    • There's also a meta-cameo: the toy that greets Bo Peep inside the toy nightclub within the antiques store is none other than Tinny, the main character of the Pixar short Tin Toy that served as the basis for the first Toy Story.
  • Canada, Eh?: Duke Caboom is a toy of "Canada's Greatest Daredevil". He has maple leaves all over his outfit and bike, his Leitmotif is "O Canada," his tagline is "The Canuck with all the luck," his previous owner was francophone who received him as a Boxing Day gift, and his catchphrase is "Yes I Can-a-da". His commercial shows a hockey rink playset in the background.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: After abandoning Woody when he refuses to forget about saving Forky, Bo's group starts to head back to the playground. But as they are about to cross under the merry-go-round, Giggle McDimples begins complaining about Woody, wondering aloud why he's that fixated on a spork. This causes Bo to call her out, leading Bo to remember that this is what makes Woody who he is, and resulting in Bo taking her group back to the antique store just in time to help Woody get Gabby to Bonnie.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Mr. Potato Head's brief appearances were done with archival recordings, Don Rickles having died before production on Toy Story 4 was underway.
  • Chekhov's Gun: One of Ducky and Bunny's plans to get the key off of the antique owner is called "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner", where in they get her attention by rolling a baseball her way (only to jump her). Minus the last part, Ducky and Bunny wind up putting this in motion in order to help Gabby attract the attention of the lost child near the end.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Several characters last seen in Toy Story 3 do not reappear in this film nor are they mentioned, including Ken, Sargenote , and the other toys at Sunnyside; amongst Bonnie's toys, the Peas-In-A-Pod, Chuckles the Clownnote , and Totoro are absent.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • When the Bensons are closing in on Woody, upon noticing Harmony close by, Woody pulls his pullstring to get her attention, forcing the Bensons to leave and leading to Harmony getting him out of the store.
    • Although it was a one-sided fight, since he wasn't really trying to stop Ducky from repeatedly kicking his head, Buzz manages to get off of the prize wall by trapping Ducky's foot in his helmet and using him as a pulley.
  • Company Cross References: There are several. For example, Bonnie and her family pass by a Dinoco gas station during their road trip, and Bo's remote-controlled skunk vehicle runs on Buy n' Large batteries.
  • The Conscience: As it turns out, Buzz never knew what this was prior to this film, and Woody's attempt at explaining it as an inner voice you can hear results in Buzz using his voice box's sayings as his conscience throughout the film. Remarkably, he gets some good mileage out of this.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Inverted: when Woody abandons Buzz to go back inside the antique store, Buzz consults his voice box about what to do, which essentially is to head back to the RV. And given how A) the RV was about to leave again, and B) Bonnie didn't know she left her backpack at the antique store, this was a good call.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the first film, after Buzz shows off what he can do, Bo declares, "I found my moving buddy." Here, when the two reunite, Bo affectionately refers to Buzz as "[her] old moving buddy."
    • Bonnie making Jessie the sheriff despite having another toy who is specifically a sheriff is consistent with her play style shown in Toy Story That Time Forgot, where she pretends a Christmas ornament is a type of dinosaur and makes Trixie, her actual dinosaur, a reindeer.
    • One of Bonnie's classmates has a Reptillus Maximus lunchbox.
    • Poultry Palace from the Toy Story Toons short Small Fry briefly appears during the travel montage. Some of the toys there are also seen in the antique shop's secret room.
    • When the toys are in Bonnie's closet due to Bonnie's mother having cleaned her room, Jessie is seen very clearly in distress from the dark, confined space. This is due to her previous trauma from untold years in storage as detailed in 2 and Toy Story of Terror.
    • Similarly, when Woody is left in the closet because Bonnie does not want to play with him, he nervously lines up some playing cards on the floor to kill time. This is a reference to Woody's nightmare in Toy Story 2 where Andy, who does not want to play with Woody anymore, throws him away through a pile of playing cards into a trash can.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Out of all places in the entire world (or at least country), Bonnie's family happened to end up vacationing in a small resort town RV park where Bo and other "lost toys" are played with by an endless stream of vacationing children and where she and Woody reunite, which just happens to have the Second Chance Antique Store from which Bo escaped and where Gabby still waits, during the brief stay of a traveling carnival where Bo wants to go and where Gabby will meet her "Bonnie".
    • Believing Woody to still be on the highway, Buzz winds up at the antique store as he tries to work out where to go next... and, with some prompting by his voice box, looks up in time to see Woody and Bo's group jump onto the roof of the store.
  • Cool Car: The rather bedraggled remote-controlled skunk that Bo and her friends travel around in shouldn't count as this by any sane standard, but it does indeed serve this purpose in the film - it's remarkably fast, gets to do plenty of cool stunts, and has a number of loving shots of its inner workings (usually when it's doing cool stunts).
  • Covered in Gunge: Giggle McDimples gets swallowed by Dragon the cat, then spat out all covered in saliva.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • When trying to figure out how to get the key to the china cabinet off of the antique store owner, Ducky and Bunny propose three different plans... that all boil down to jumping her and grabbing the key. And then the owner simply drops the keys onto the shelf they are all on when she walks by.
    • Pretty much literally during the china cabinet incident: after Woody's voice box pops out of his back, one of the Bensons opts to pin him down and try digging it out from there.
  • Daydream Surprise: Becomes a Running Gag, as Ducky and Bunny attacking the store owner turns out to be just them telling Buzz their suggestions on how to get the key. The third time becomes an Overly Long Gag, as the old lady goes through her nightly routine until Ducky and Bunny attack her while sleeping.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Due to the film focusing largely on Woody and Bo's adventures outside of Bonnie's RV and room, Andy and Bonnie's toys besides Woody, Buzz, and Jessie are rather sidelined. Several of them only appear in Bonnie's room. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head's reduced roles are at least justified due to the death of Don Rickles and the reliance on preexisting audio to get lines from him, negating any chance for a prominent role. Nonetheless, the characters who are brought on the road trip still make every effort to help Woody and Buzz from afar.
    • Barbie only appears briefly in the prologue with two other Barbie dolls after serving as a major character in Toy Story 3.
    • Despite the Little Green Men having prominent roles in previous films, they have no purpose, role, or even lines in the entire film.
    • An In-Universe version of this occurs with Woody himself, who Bonnie has lost interest in and no longer even plays with by the time the film proper starts.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Bo has become the toy equivalent and has a broken, but reattachable, arm. Woody sacrifices his voice box to get Forky back. Woody and Bo still love each other.
  • Distant Prologue: The departure of Bo, mentioned in passing in Toy Story 3, is shown in the prologue of this film to have happened when Andy was still a child playing with Woody. After the prologue a Time Passes Montage takes us through the whole of Andy's youth as well as the time after Andy gave Woody and the others to Bonnie.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Gabby's need for a new voice box resembles someone who is missing a vital organ, like a kidney. Woody later donating it so her voice can function is comparable to being an organ donor or even a blood donor.
    • It's not outright stated, but the toys' reaction to seeing the mangled remains of a stuffed animalnote  is very much like a group of people discovering a corpse.
      Bunny: [unnerved] Is that what we look like on the inside?
    • Bo Peep being unbothered when Woody accidentally pops off her already broken off arm feels reminiscent of those who wear prosthetic limbs and are accustomed to them.
    • The whole motif of Woody watching over Forky so he doesn't run for the trash is strikingly similar to people on suicide watch.
  • Downer Beginning: The prologue starts with the toys rescuing RC, but Andy's Mom suddenly decides to box and donate Bo Peep and her sheep. They offer to have Woody come with them, but he chooses to stay.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The entire Toy Story series is a deconstruction of this trope. Being a toy can be a rather thankless job, since humans are unaware of the good deeds the toys do for them — a necessary condition of the Masquerade. This is why Woody feels offended when the other toys think he is just thinking about himself when he wants to rescue Forky for Bonnie; he feels like it's his duty to care for Bonnie despite her lack of attention and affection for him.
  • Easily Forgiven: Gabby Gabby's motivation is, at first, the creepiest in the series: she wants to remove Woody's pull-string voice box and "transplant" it into herself. Once she explains why, though, Woody is quick to forgive her, and in fact gives her the box — she wants to devote herself to a child as much as Woody has.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • In Bonnie's room when Woody introduces Forky, Jessie points out that Forky is throwing himself away.
    • In Bonnie's RV, while Woody and Buzz are talking, they interrupt themselves to look for Forky about to jump out the window.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Apart from the opening and end credit scenes, the film takes place over about three days, with everything from Forky jumping out of the van onward happening within 24 hours or so.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Referenced when Forky runs off at the end of the teaser trailer.
      Woody: Hey! Hey! Somebody get him before he pokes an eye out.
    • When being introduced to the toys in Bonnie's room, the glue holding Forky's eyes in place hasn't completely cured yet, resulting in his eye popping off when he falls over in shock.
    • Also referenced after Forky jumps out of the RV. The toys put a metal spoon in Bonnie's hand while she's sleeping and briefly discuss if they should have used a fork instead.
  • Foil:
    • Duke Caboom is this to how Buzz was in the first film: in both cases, their own individual toy commercials resulted in a reality check and caused internal strife about who they are. With Buzz, seeing his own commercial makes him realize he is in fact a toy (and, in particular, is not a flying toy), and attempting to prove the commercial wrong by flying resulted in him falling down a flight of stairs and having his arm pop off. With Duke, it's implied he knew from the start he was a toy, but when his owner, Rejan, tried and failed to get him to jump like in his commercial, he got so upset he threw Duke away on Boxing Day, the same day he got him, and this incident wound up scarring Duke for years and instilling an uncertainty of ever making a stunt jump ever again.
    • Gabby is notably a foil for Stinky Pete and Lotso. Like the former, she's no stranger to being ignored and left on a shelf (thanks in part to her defective voice). And like the latter, the child she so wanted to please didn't love her quite as much as she hoped. However, in contrast to them, neither of her bad experiences embitter her and instead make her empathetic to the lost girl she is eventually adopted by.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In one of early Bonnie's play session, she takes Woody's badge and places it on Jessie to make her the Sheriff instead. In the ending, Woody gives up his badge to Jessie, essentially promoting her to be the leader of the toys, while he stays with Bo Peep and her lost toys gang.
    • Harmony, the granddaughter of the antique shop's owner, takes Woody with her to the carnival. She later shows up at the shop again and apparently forgets all about Woody. This shows that she doesn't seem to be invested in toys (or at least, toys like Woody) or care for them very much, which foreshadows that she will reject Gabby Gabby, another toy similar to Woody.
    • When he and Forky first pass by the antique store, despite Woody's previous urgency to get Forky back to Bonnie, as soon as he spots a chance to see Bo again, he takes it. He chose Bo over Bonnie in that moment, just like he does at the end.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Forky's existence hinged entirely on the random items Woody pulled from the trash, not to mention another kid taking Bonnie's art supplies.
    • During the RV montage, one of the things Woody does to try and curb Forky's attempts at throwing himself into the trash is to toss the RV's trash can out the back window. Woody never closed it, giving Forky the opportunity to jump out while the RV is driving down the road.
    • Similarly, Woody noticing Bo's lamp in the window of Second Chance Antiques is what allows the rest of the movie to proceed.
  • Freudian Slip: During a conversation with Forky, Woody mistakenly refers to Bonnie as "Andy".
  • Friend or Idol Decision: In the end, Woody has to decide whether to return to Bonnie with Buzz and the gang or stay behind with Bo. He chose the latter.
  • From Bad to Worse: Woody starts out neglected by Bonnie and then he ends up having to deal with protecting Forky while he constantly trashes himself.
  • Funny Background Event: In Duke Caboom's flashback, Réjean gets upset over finding out how his toy can't jump that far. In the background, a Duke Caboom commercial is playing showing the toy making a long jump with the assistance of an obvious string.
  • Grand Finale: According to Tom Hanks, this will presumably be the final film in the Toy Story franchise, capping off a 24-year tetralogy. The ending appears to confirm this: the seemingly inseparable duo of Woody and Buzz Lightyear peacefully part ways.
  • Hammered into the Ground: What happens to Forky after he jumps out of the moving RV.
  • Happy Ending Override: Ultimately a Downplayed Trope, but the third movie ends with Woody convincing Andy to donate him along with his other toys to Bonnie, under the belief that now that he has grown up he doesn't need his toys anymore like Bonnie does. Toy Story 4 opens up and reveals that Bonnie is interested in all of Andy's toys except for Woody, who's now going through a bit of an existential crisis. Of course, he always lived by the vow of "being there for [Bonnie] is more important than being played with", but keeping that vow has now become much more difficult than he ever imagined.
  • Held Gaze: Woody and Bo share several (of the romantic variety) over the course of the film.
  • High Five Left Hanging: One of the Combat Carls gets left hanging twice in the same scene, first by the other Combat Carls when they report to Bo about a kid's birthday party for the lost toys to attend, and then later by Woody. He finally gets his high five with Duke Kaboom in an after credits gag.
  • I Choose to Stay: Twice. The first is during the flashback at the beginning of the movie, where Woody declines Bo's offer to come with her in the box. In the end, Woody ultimately chooses to remain with Bo, aiding in her mission to help lost toys find their owners.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The "Teaser Trailer Reaction" video is set at the Star Adventurer booth, which turns out to be a significant set piece in the movie as this is where Buzz gets trapped and is a key set-piece in the climax.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When the RV is about to take off again after the tire is fixed, Buzz reassures everyone that Bonnie will notice she left her backpack at the antique store, and her parents will swing by to get it. No sooner does he say this, Bonnie doesn't realize she's missing it, and the RV begins to leave.
  • Jump Scare: Happens several times throughout the film, always accompanied by a Scare Chord. While Gabby's ventriloquist dolls are the main source of this, the earliest instance is when Forky comes to life and suddenly screams at the top of his lungs directly at the screen.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • An indirect example as she legitimately didn't realize the weight of her actions: When gathering up toys for a quick play session, Bonnie states how she needs a sheriff. So, she grabs Woody... so she can take his badge to give to Jessie, and then leaves him in the closet.
    • Played for laughs: for some reason, Buttercup really wants to see Bonnie's dad get sent to jail, and as such is delighted when the sabotaging of the RV during the climax results in him having to speak to a cop.
    • Given Gabby's entire plot line in the movie was about finding a new owner in Harmony, seeing her just dismissively toss her aside is one of the most painful scenes to watch.
  • Kids Are Cruel:
    • A subtle motif throughout the movie is that not every child actually finds fulfillment through their toys. The movie opens with Bonnie completely uninterested in playing with Woody, despite the promise she made to Andy at the end of 3 to take care of all of his toys. Harmony, the granddaughter of the antique shop owner and the girl who Gabby Gabby hopes to take her in, is implied to repeatedly take toys from the antique shop and then lose them without care. Duke Caboom's original owner threw him out after he realized that he doesn't quite work the same way he was supposed to in the commercial.
    • There's also a biting moment in Bonnie's kindergarten class, where a boy walks up to her, only to take all of her arts and crafts supplies for himself. He then goes and dumps half of them into the garbage can right in front of her. While it's less malice than it is apathy and waste, it doesn't help convince Bonnie she will enjoy Kindergarten.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • When Bunny informs Ducky of having seen the Toy Story 4 trailer in the Teaser Trailer Reaction video, Ducky is in shock, believing the series was done with three movies. This is an in-joke towards the entire audience, who would have assumed the same thing.
    • A humorous one happens in the credit scenes: when the lovestruck Forky says that he'll explain everything to the new toy...
      New Toy: How am I alive?
      Forky: [beat] I don't know. [big eye faces the camera]
  • Lighter and Softer: Downplayed. After the Darker and Edgier Toy Story 3, this movie has a lot more humor in it. It's still a bit darker than the first two, though, due to the presence of more adult themes and the sometimes creepy/unsettling antique store scenes.
  • Literal Metaphor:
    • Woody tells the gang Bonnie made a new friend — "No, literally she made a new friend!" — and unzips the backpack to reveal Forky.
    • Woody refers to his conscience as his "inner voice"; Buzz takes that to mean the literal toy voiceboxes housed inside them, and continually confers with his pre-programmed catchphrases whenever he needs guidance.
    • Forky refers to himself as "trash", which is technically correct as he was built from scraps that Woody did indeed find in a trash bin.
  • Logo Joke: One at the beginning and at the end as The Stinger, both involving the Pixar logo:
  • Loophole Abuse: When Bo and Woody make a stop at the pinball machine to find Duke, Bo (still mad with Woody)note  makes a point of telling him to not say a word. When she takes too long mingling with the other toys in the machine:
    [Woody clears his throat, pulls his pullstring]
    Voicebox: [as Woody pointedly stares at Bo] We gotta get this wagon train a-movin'!
    Bo: ...agreed. Cheater.
  • Mangled Catch Phrase: In the Teaser Trailer Reaction video, Ducky and Bunny can't say "To Infinity, and Beyond!" right. When Buzz tells them the true phrase, they mock it.
  • Meaningful Name: The Second Chance Antique store, where much of the movie is set. One of the main themes of the movie is characters getting their second chances to do what they love. Interestingly, those characters' "second chances" come by leaving the store. Woody first catches a glimpse of Bo Peep's lamp and goes inside the store to find her, but he actually reunites with Bo in the carnival. Bo herself was stuck in the store for quite some time before she realizes that it's pointless to wait for someone to buy her, and so she got out of there and joined the nearby carnival; thus, she gets to be played with every day while also traveling the world. Gabby Gabby desperately wants to become someone's toy and is looking to achieve that through Harmony, the store owner's granddaughter who frequently visits the store. Unfortunately, even with her voicebox replaced, Harmony isn't interested in playing with her. It's only when Woody and Bo convince Gabby to leave the store and find another kid that she successfully finds a new owner who finally takes her in. Finally, Duke Caboom failed to pull off a jumping stunt in the store because he's haunted by his own past of being abandoned by his owner because he couldn't live up to the stunt in his own ads shown on TV. After leaving the store, he has another shot at it, and this time he manages to pull off an even more awesome stunt that goes above and beyond what was shown in his ads, finally getting over his own fear of failure.
  • Messianic Archetype: By the end of the film, Woody has fully evolved into this. Despite being abandoned to the closet by Bonnie, he — alone of the toys — risks loss or confiscation to help her through day one of kindergarten. His actions result in Forky's creation. He then spends much of the film trying to keep Forky from destroying himself. When he realizes that Gabby Gabby wants exactly the same relationship with a child that he had with Andy, he willingly sacrifices his voice box despite the fact that Gabby did her best to take it by force. When he realizes that Jessie, subtly, is to Bonnie what he was to Andy, he sacrifices his sheriff's badge. Even his Bittersweet Ending with Bo has him focused on uniting other toys with other "Andys" and "Bonnies."
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The climax of the film is a rollercoaster of emotions. There's the heartwarming conclusion to Gabby's arc, as she finally finds love from a little girl at the park, which is immediately followed by the outrageously funny scene where the toys mess with Bonnie's trailer and cause her father to be pulled over by the police, then concludes with the Bittersweet Ending where Woody decides to leave his friends to stay with Bo Peep.
      • Likewise, when everyone is seeing Woody off, Forky shows up as well... except Forky was supposed to be keeping the door to the RV locked. Cue the RV starting up and pulling out.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Tinny from Tin Toy makes an appearance at Second Chance Antiques. This winds up bordering on Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness due to Tin Toy being the inspiration for Toy Story.
    • In both the Antique shop and the official poster, one can observe a painting of Dogs Playing Poker in the background, with the dogs in question being Dug, Alpha, and Charles Muntz’s dogs. Muntz himself is also playing with them in the painting.
    • Ducky and Bunny botching the famous "To infinity and beyond" Catchphrase brings an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command to mind.
    • During their roadtrip, Bonnie and her family pass by a Dinoco fuel station.
    • Some of the prizes available at the carnival attraction where Ducky and Bunny live are tiny plastic versions of Miguel's guitar.
    • The sheep bring Bo a grape soda cap.
    • A stack of tapes at the antique store have the names of several Pixar shorts, including Wally B, Knick Knack and Lifted.
    • There are various retro signs in the antique shop for things such as Eggman Movers and Tripledent Gum.
    • Bo's radio-controlled skunk runs on Buy n Large batteries.
    • The A Bug's Life themed calendar in Andy’s room last seen in Toy Story 2 makes a reappearance in the prologue, this time the image of the month being the big group shot of the circus bugs landing on Ant Island.
    • The Pizza Planet Truck, first introduced in the first film and reappears as an Easter egg throughout all the Pixar films, appears as a tattoo on one of the carnies, making this the only Toy Story film where the truck doesn't physically appear.
    • invoked The plot of the Circle 7 version of Toy Story 3 was about Buzz spontaneously malfunctioning. In this movie, due to Buzz repeatedly cycling through his voice box sayings (trying to figure out how to stop the RV from leaving and get Bonnie to notice her missing backpack), Bonnie's parents assume he's acting up.
    • During the credits, the carnival sets up shop at New Stanton, a reference to Pixar’s Andrew Stanton.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A minor example, Ducky and Bunny are separate toys in the teaser trailer, and even in their official art on the poster. In the film itself they're joined at the hand the entire time.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Woody poses as though he's part of a phone when someone walks by.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened between Giggle McDimples and He-Man. She's not proud of it.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: At the end of the film, Woody stays with Bo Peep and the other lost toys and makes Jessie the new leader of Bonnie's toys.
  • No Time to Explain: When Buzz ponders what to do to find Woody, he asks his "inner voice" which tells him to get moving without explaining.
  • Off-Model: Look carefully at the poster at the top of this page, then at the characters in the film. Bo Peep in the poster is missing her hair ribbon and Ducky and Bunny aren't sewn together as they are in the film.
  • Older Than They Look: Discussed between Woody and Gabby in their first encounter: Woody admits he was made in the 1950s, which Gabby (cheerfully) remarks was when she was made too.
  • Passing the Torch: At the end of the film, Woody passes his sheriff’s badge to Jessie, tasking her with helping Buzz lead the toys now that he’s leaving. This is after he witnessed Bonnie give her his badge at the start of the film.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Halfway through the film, after failing to rescue Forky a second time, Woody and Bo Peep have a falling out over the former's reckless actions, with the latter walking out on him along with Buzz.
  • Pop the Tires: Jessie does this to Bonnie's family's RV as a stalling tactic.
  • Production Foreshadowing: One of the stands at the carnival is for the "Dragon Zone", and has a picture of Blaze the dragon from Onward on its banner.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Dolly has to outline to Woody that, despite his years of experience with Andy, Bonnie is not Andy. She has different interests and needs than Andy did, and Woody can't expect Bonnie's growing up to go the same as Andy's did. Woody has to contend with the fact that he's not the favorite toy anymore. Similarly, while Woody has come to accept Bonnie as his new owner, he still can't get over Andy. Andy's other toys are apparently able to move on from this but Woody doesn't, due to the fact that he was Andy's oldest toy and had been together all his life until Andy gave him away. He can't just get over being separated from him easily like most other toys did.
    • On the other hand, Dolly is an efficient manager of the toys, but efficient managers can get caught up in procedure over people — which is why Woody, not Dolly, recognizes that Bonnie really needs a toy companion.
    • A child can only play with so many toys, to the point where one or two are bound to get sidelined. Bonnie even lampshades this innocently, establishing why she's playing with Woody less and less.
    • While Andy's speech to Bonnie in the last film about how important Woody was to him was certainly heartfelt and meaningful, it was also something that a child of Bonnie's age could not fully grasp the weight of. As such, she feels she has no reason to take special care and attention of Woody now that he's her toy.
    • Bonnie's first day of kindergarten quickly overwhelms her, and it doesn't help her case that she isn't allowed to take any toys with her to comfort herself.
    • Toys wear down over time. If you pull on a toy's pull-string hard enough, you risk ripping out the voice box.
    • The minor difference between Woody and Buzz's voice-boxes in this film actually highlight an interesting reversal on the long-lasting appeal of old-fashioned versus newer toys. Namely, Woody's voice box runs on a mini-record and still sounds crisp despite being over half a century old. Whereas Buzz's voice, which uses an electronic speaker, sounds noticeably aged and distorted after more than two decades of wear.
    • It takes more than a Rousing Speech to get someone to overcome their demons. Despite Bo's speech about how great a daredevil he is, Duke Caboom is still haunted by how disappointed his kid was by his meager stunt skills and loses confidence.
    • Duke Caboom's personal problems are a case of this. Toy commercials tend to play fast and loose with the truth (i.e. that Duke can jump much farther than he actually can), so kids, who aren't exactly discerning consumers, end up having unrealistic expectations and being disappointed with the final product.
    • Gabby Gabby has become obsessed with Harmony, granddaughter of the antique shop owner, believing that she will one day take her as her own toy. Gabby Gabby insists she's been practicing playtime with Harmony and has staked her entire life on being loved by Harmony, or at least, the perception of Harmony she has developed in her own mind. When she does get her chance to be taken in by Harmony, the young girl looks her over for a moment, but dismissively casts her aside, proving that Gabby Gabby's perception of Harmony was just that - a perception.
    • Instead of trying to find her parents by herself, the lost little girl who adopts Gabby Gabby tries asking a police officer for help to find them. The police officer effectively reunites the girl with her family in less than a minute.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • How does Woody learn about Bo's broken arm? He accidentally pulls it off, causing both of them to scream in fear... only for it to turn out that Bo was just screwing with Woody.
    • All three of Ducky and Bunny's plans to get the china cabinet key off of the owner involves tackling and maiming her. Special mention goes to the third plan, the "Plush Rush", which sees them follow her home, and wait until she's had her bath and gone to bed... whereupon they rise up in the moonlight and attack her then and there.
      Buzz: ...well, we're not doing that.
    • Part of the climax sees the toys in the RV having to make the RV turn around and go back to the merry-go-round. And how is this accomplished? By having Trixie pretend to be the GPS' voice and make Bonnie's dad do a U-turn, followed by the other toys screwing with the pedals and wires to the point where a cop pulls up alongside them. And, to buy Woody extra time, they have Forky keep locking the door so Bonnie's dad can't get back inside.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Not even the toys themselves find out how a makeshift item can become a living toy.
  • Running Gag: Forky constantly trying to throw himself away and Woody constantly tossing him out or keeping him away from the trash.
  • Self-Deprecation: Played with: Early on, Forky can't see himself as being anything other than trash. Given how he was made in part by the items Woody had grabbed from the trash, it's easy to see why he can't see himself as being a toy; it's not that he doesn't think he can be, it's that he literally (at first) struggles to see himself as anything but trash.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The name of the vicious (to toys, at least) cat in the antique shop is Dragon.
    • When hiding in the antiques shop, at one point, Woody holds up a phone just like the Mickey Mouse phones made in The '90s.
    • Bo's three-headed sheep are named Billy, Goat, and Gruff, most likely after the fairy tale The Billy Goats Gruff.
    • There are numerous references to The Shining:
      • When Woody and Forky first meet Gabby Gabby and Benson, "Midnight With the Stars and You" plays on a record.
      • The street number for the antique shop owner's home being 237.
      • A toy like the man in the bear suit appears in the Lost Toy Bar.
      • The typewriter that Woody gets his foot stuck in is similar to Jack's typewriter.
    • One of the many odd background objects found in the antique store is a mold of former Pixar CEO Ed Catmull's hand, after his 1972 short film A Computer Animated Hand, considered to be the world's first computer animated film. It's most visible near the end when Harmony finds Gabby with her new voicebox.
    • Ducky and Bunny refer to a pair of plush frogs as "Rainbow Connection" and "Jeremiah" (after the line "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" from the Three Dog Night song "Joy to the World") and ask them if they're ready for "a wild ride"
    • "Hi, I'm Gabby Gabby, and I love you".
    • One of Buzz's voice box lines is "open the pod bay doors".
    • Among the toys inside the arcade are Original 1977 figures of Obi-Wan Kenobi & Ponda Bobba. Ben even accidentally knocks off Ponda's right arm again.
  • Smelly Skunk: Bo has an RC car disguised as a skunk to travel in public, as people scatter at the sight of it.
  • Stealth Pun: Bo gets separated from her sheep during a battle, and they get taken away to Gabby's cabinet. Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep!
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Despite his distrust of Gabby, Woody hears her out when she reminds him of his time with Andy and tells him that the only thing she wants is a chance for her to experience something like that. This, along with her promise to let Forky go, is what convinces Woody to give up his voicebox to her. Later, after she's been crushed by Harmony's rejection, he invites her to leave with them and find another child to love.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Buzz comes off as much more naive and hapless in the film than he did in the past two entries. Notably, here he seems to lack a basic grasp of simple metaphors and starts relying on his own voice box to make decisions for him, in quite the contrast to his assertiveness in 2.
  • The Un-Reveal: At no point do we get a clear cut explanation as for why Forky (and later Knifey) managed to come to life. This appears to be deliberate, and there isn't an explanation for how the mass-produced toys in the franchise are able to be alive either.
  • Wham Line:
    • Gabby gets one in her direction. Gabby manages to finally get Harmony's attention via her fixed voice box, and it appears that she is going to want the doll... but upon being asked if she does, Harmony's response? "Nah." And then she just casually tosses Gabby aside.
    • When Woody shows apprehension about leaving Bo at the end of the film, Buzz decides to help by assuaging his concerns:
      Buzz: She'll be okay. ...Bonnie will be okay.
  • Wham Shot: When Woody freezes at the playground, a girl picks him up and starts playing with him... and we soon learn that she's holding Bo in her other hand.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Gabby Gabby's dummies disappear after helping the group escape into the carnival and are never seen again.
    • Once again there is no explanation for what happened to RC after the first two movies, despite having a reappearance in the opening flashback.
    • The film recaps what happened to Andy and reveals what happened to Bo. But Bo is the only one of Molly's toys whose fate is revealed — and we never hear another word about Molly.
    • When Woody meets Gabby, they have an initial bond since they were both manufactured in The '50s, clearly long before Andy was born. Toy Story 2 has already made it clear that not only Woody, but also Jessie and Bullseye, were some of the most popular toys of their time, and the "When She Loved Me" sequence of the earlier film shows us Jessie's time with her first owner, Emily. But we never learn who owned Woody before Andy. Woody himself never brings it up. Does he even remember? Or is Disney setting up Toy Story 5 as a prequel?
  • White and Gray Morality: While Gabby Gabby can be deemed an antagonist, she is an Anti-Villain who only wants to fix the fact she never had a child to call her own, something that gets Woody's empathy, and by the end he helps get the love she always wanted.
  • You Didn't Ask: Early on, Woody is surprised that Bo Peep's sheep have names. After saying that she never told him they had names, Bo Peep says that he never asked.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: At first, it seems like the movie is heading towards a simple ending: Gabby has gotten her voice box fixed, Woody has gotten Forky back, and the latter two are about to leave the antique store in Bonnie's backpack. But then Forky and Woody bear witness to Harmony getting ahold of Gabby... and after a few seconds, she disinterestedly tosses her to the side. Woody isn't done here yet.


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