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Spoilers for this movie will be marked as usual. However, since this is a sequel to Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3, it does contain unmarked spoilers for them. You Have Been Warned!

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"I was made to help a child. I don't remember it being this hard."
Woody
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Toy Story 4 is the fourth installment of the Toy Story franchise, and the twenty-first CGI animated feature made by Pixar. It was released on June 21, 2019 and marks the directorial debut of Josh Cooley.

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 sapience. 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.

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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 flame 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 Toy Story material is available on Disney+, namely the 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.

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


Toy Story 4 provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Buzz and Jessie's relationship building over the second and third films is never touched upon at all in this film. Instead, the focus is shifted over to Woody and Bo's reunion and rekindling relationship.
  • 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.
  • Acting Out a Daydream: During the end credits, Ducky and Bunny do this when imagining themselves turning into giants shooting lasers from their eyes while the rest of the bunch stands there watching.
  • 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.
  • Angrish: Bonnie's dad's reaction to seeing a flat tire on their RV.
  • Animation Bump:
    • Bo looks almost nothing like she did back in the original Toy Story, with a more prominent face and her dress in the flashback is more detailed.
    • Bo's sheep have also changed in appearance, having slight dents on their top so they can be more describable as three conjoined sheep rather than a three-headed hybrid.
  • 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.
  • As Himself: Sort of. Toys in Bonnie's room are named Melephant Brooks (voiced by Mel Brooks), Chairol (Carol) Burnett, Carl Reineroceros (Reiner) and Bitey (Betty) White.
  • 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 with the Lost-Toy-Bar 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.
    • Buzz tells Woody "She'll be okay..." then qualifies it by saying 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 dealing with the Existential Horror of his nature by 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 riding home with her after the store closes 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 these parts from "Parting Gifts and New Horizons" and "Andy's Birthday".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 retreat 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.
  • 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: When Woody abandons Buzz to go back inside the antique store, Buzz consults his voice box about what to do. The trope is inverted when the voice box gives line after line with the same underlying "leave, go away" message that he should head back to the RV. While initially seeming to be Played for Laughs, this turns out to be the best action because the RV was about to leave again and Bonnie didn't know she left her backpack at the antique store.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A loving nod to the first film's opening (and the third) is the opening credits with 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.
    • 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.
    • 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:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Covers Always Lie: 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.
  • 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.
  • Darkest Hour: Forky is captured by Gabby again, Woody leaves Bo's team after being scolded by Bo and finally gives his voice box to Gabby, Buzz returns to Bonnie's RV with no Woody and Forky, and Gabby decides to make Harmony proud.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • As the movie is the conclusion of Woody's character arc in the Toy Story franchise, Buzz and Woody are not deuteragonists in this movie. They end up separated with Woody and Bo comprising the "A" story while Buzz teams with Bunny, Ducky and Giggles for the "B" story. While their narratives overlap and Buzz is clearly trying to help Woody's quest, Woody is the main protagonist of this film.
    • Because of the story's primary focus on Woody, the remaining group of Andy's toys have less screen time and few lines. Jessie is the most prominent taking the lead during the scene where the toys delay the Anderson family's RV.
    • Due to the death of Don Rickles and the need to rely on pre-existing recordings to provide lines for Mr. Potato Head, he has a minor role in the story with very little dialog.
  • 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.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: When Woody attempts to rescue Forky from the china cabinet, his plan calls for meeting at the "merry-go-round". This repeatedly confuses Forky until he wonders if Woody means the "carousel".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Continuing the themes from previous movies, a toy's relationship with their kid is played up even more as a paternal relationship, with kids outgrowing their parents need for them and Woody and Bo Peep's meeting in particular coming across as someone meeting their ex who has a new kid.
    • Similarly, Woody's raising of Forky is an unsubtle metaphor for raising a (likely special needs) child.
    • 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.
    • Bunny and Ducky, with their constant handholding and desire for a child, are reminiscent of a homosexual couple looking to get a kid of their own.
    • Gabby's interest in Harmony resembles a (one-sided) crush, as she gets overjoyed whenever she sees her and describes her as "Perfect". Likewise, the fact that she's too afraid to meet her before coming to terms with herself only to be rejected anyway adds some Incompatible Orientation subtext to the relationship. If we want to go even further, Gabby eventually ends up with an another girl after they bond over them both being "lost".
    • Woody's existential dilemma of not knowing his purpose now that Bonnie has no interest in playing with him is almost akin to an individual going through a Mid-Life Crisis.
  • Downer Beginning: The prologue starts with the toys rescuing RC, but Andy's Mom has decided to box and give away Bo Peep and her sheep to another family. Bo suggests that Woody could 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: Without any context, Gabby Gabby's goal of wanting to remove Woody's pull-string voice box and "transplant" it into herself comes across as downright creepy. However, once she explains that she wants to devote herself to a child as much as Woody, he is quick to forgive her, and gives her the box.
  • Entertainingly 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.
  • Eureka Moment: When the toys wonder how to get the van back to the carousel, the GPS voice comes on which gives Jessie an idea.
  • 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.
  • False Camera Effects: Incorporated to a level not seen in a CGI film before. The animators took great pains to make a CGI animated movie look like it was shot in an analog world with real cameras. It imitates the properties of real lenses down to having Woody appear as if filmed with a spherical lens and Bo being shot with an anamorphic lens. The film even emulates a split diopter shot (where objects in the foreground and background are both in focus at the same time) specifically to invoke the stylistic, mood effect the technique is known to create in the audience. A detailed discussion can be found here.
  • Five-Man Band: Bo's gang at the carnival:
    • The Leader: Bo Peep. She is the leader of the team.
    • The Lancer: Woody. He is Bo's former boyfriend who reunites with her and joins her team. At the end of the movie, he becomes a Sixth Ranger and becomes her second in-command.
    • The Smart Guy: Duke Caboom. He is the smartest member of the team and knows how to jump in order to find Gabby's owner at the end of the movie.
    • The Big Guy: Ducky and Bunny. They are the biggest members of the team.
    • The Chick: Officer Giggle McDimples. She is the smallest member of the team who is judging how nice and sensitive she is to everyone.
    • Sixth Ranger: Buzz Lightyear. He is the only member of Bonnie's toys besides Woody to join Bo's rescue mission to save Forky. But at the end of the film, he decides to stay with Bonnie, leaving Woody under the care of Bo.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The barracuda that ate Nemo's mother in FINDING NEMO is seen as a stuffed trophy mounted on a wall in The Second Hand Antiques Gift Shop.invoked Word of God confirms that this is the same barracuda.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While RC was never shown to be quite as important to Andy as his other toys, the fact that Andy forgets about him in a post-Toy Story 2 setting is an ominous sign of things to come for Andy’s toys since his childhood will indeed not last forever. Sure enough, RC is never seen again after this point in the series’s timeline.
    • In the prologue, Slinky is once again stretched to his limits to the point that he sounds audibly pained by his exertion. When Slinky begins to complain, Woody quickly throws him his pull string knob to keep to their mission of rescuing RC. The latter portions of the film show that Woody has a one-track mind when it comes to rescues on behalf of his child, with an unintentional disregard for the well-being of others around him, even the ones who are helping him.
    • 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:
    • In the prologue, Woody is half-way into Bo's box when he hears Andy freaking out over him being gone, which convinces him to stay.
    • 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.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: During his 40 feet jump, we get a shot of Duke Caboom as he passes by in front of the full moon.
  • 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.
  • Futile Hand Reach: Woody does this gesture when Forky throws himself out of the van.
  • Given Name Reveal: The names of Bo's sheep are revealed to be Billy, Goat, and Gruff.
  • 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 Caboom 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. Both scenes have a similar shot of Woody's hands holding on to the rim of a wall separating him and Bo.
  • Improvised Zipline: Bo uses her staff to slide across the rope to the china cabinet.
  • Innocently Insensitive: 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. To be fair, Bonnie couldn't know the weight of her actions.
  • 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.
  • Iris Out: The last shot irises out on Forky as he says "I don't know." Played with - halfway through, one of Forky's googly eyes moves, and the iris actually stops and shifts position to close out on it.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: When Woody asks Forky if he understands the concept of a merry-go-round, the latter affirms but then asks what a merry-go-round is. Played with in that it turns out he does know what it is, but by a different name ("carousel").
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Remembering Woody's speech about your inner voice, Buzz consults his voice box when Woody is kidnapped. Except his voice box over and over gives slogans that tell Buzz to get while the getting was good. Being a hero, Buzz is not too fond of this idea, but ultimately relents.
  • 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]
  • Leave Me Alone!: After getting dumped by Harmony, Gabby is close to be crossing the Despair Event Horizon and tells Woody to go away when the latter tries to comfort her. Woody gets her back on track with a Rousing Speech.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Woody has no patience to wait for Bo to come up with a plan of how to sneak into the china cabin and charges full-tilt ahead.
  • 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.
  • Lightmare Fuel: The mid-credit scene of Ducky and Bunny as giant monsters combines the scary with the funny.
  • 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 voice boxes 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: Bo and Woody make a stop at the pinball machine to find Duke. Bo, who is still mad at Woody over the loss of her sheep, 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 gets impatient and tugs his pullstring:
    Voice box: [as Woody pointedly stares at Bo] We gotta get this wagon train a-movin'!
    Bo: ...agreed. Cheater.
  • Low Clearance: Invoked. While being chased by the Bensons, Bo pulls out a drawer from a cabinet that the Bensons then run into.
  • 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. Not only does it fit the store's basic function of selling old items to be reused, but many of the characters in the story and in the store get second chances to do what they love.
  • 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."
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Woody moves around in the classroom underneath a breadbox.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Given Gabby's entire plotline in the movie was about finding a new owner in Harmony, seeing her being dismissively tossed aside is one of the most painful scenes to watch.
    • 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" Catch Phrase 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.
    • When Ducky and Bunny first attack Buzz Lightyear and roll down the antique shop's roof, Buzz's voice box can be heard saying "Buzz-Buzz-Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!" The same thing happened in the first film when Woody was fighting Buzz at the gas station and in the second film when Emperor Zurg was fighting the other Buzz Lightyear on an elevator.
    • 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.
    • Boo is one of Bonnie's classmates and also appears at the carnival.
    • The Barracuda that ate Nemo's mother from Finding Nemo is seen as a stuffed fishing trophy mounted on the wall in The Second Chance Antiques shop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The closing scene pans up to the night sky above the carnival.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: A rather trivial example but during the "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" montage, there's a scene with Bonnie playing with Woody along with Forky, implying that she does still find Woody worth playing with. That and she did bring Woody along on the road trip.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Roughly three quarters 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.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: 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.
  • Reality Ensues: See the page.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Part of the climax sees the toys in the RV making it turn around and go back to the fairground. This is accomplished by having Trixie pretend to be the GPS's voice and directing 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. Then, to buy some more 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.
  • Rule of Three: Bunny and Ducky propose three plans to get the keys, culminating in a third where they wait all night to ambush the old woman in her sleep in her own home.
  • Running Gag: Forky constantly trying to throw himself away because he considers himself trash.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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 Three 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 voice box.
    • 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 Baba. Ben even accidentally knocks off Ponda's right arm again.
    • Near the end, Figment can be seen on a marquee atop one of the carnival games.
  • Smelly Skunk: Bo has an RC car disguised as a skunk to travel in public, as people scatter at the sight of it.
  • Speak in Unison: Having just been reunited, there is an awkward scene where Bo and Woody ask and reply with the same lines simultaneously:
    Woody: So, which kid is yours? / Bo: Which one is yours?
    Woody: None / Bo: No one.
    Woody: Wait, you're a lost toy? / Bo: You're a lost toy?
    Woody: That's awful. / Bo: That's great!
  • 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!
  • Swallowed Whole: Giggle gets swallowed by the cat... not for long though.
  • 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 voice box 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.
  • Team Spirit: It takes the combined effort of the toys in the van to get the vehicle back to the carousel.
  • Trilogy Creep: Toy Story 3 seemed to be the conclusion of the series, with the ending carrying a sense of finality, until this film was announced.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Interactions between Bo and Woody feel awkward at times because of their unresolved feelings for another.
  • Wham Line:
    • Gabby finally manages to get Harmony's attention, and it appears that she is going to want the doll but then says "Nah" and 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 Would X Do?: After Woody doesn't return to the group, the remaining toys ask what Woody would do in this situation.
  • White-and-Grey 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 her 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.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Pixar decided to use shiny, plastic toys as the main characters of their first animated movie because the technology to realistically render humans simply wasn't ready yet. This is stunningly apparent when they present the "Young Andy plays with his toys" flashback that opens the 2019 installment and you compare Andy to his appearance back in the first Toy Story released in 1995.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Said by Mr. Potato Head when Forky tells the toys to get the van back to the carousel.
  • 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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Toy Story 4

Woody is torn between whether to return home with Buzz and the gang or stay with Bo; after some encouragement, he ultimately chooses Bo.

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