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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    "He's selling himself for 25 cents!"
    "Oh, Woody...you're worth more'n that!"
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Some fans believe Emily never forgot Jessie, and did have fond memories of her, but simply felt she outgrew her. It doesn't help that she doesn't get any lines, so you never learn her side of the story. Indeed, this interpretation is popular among those who had similar experiences with their toys.
    • Stinky Pete ends up in the ownership of a girl who likes drawing on her toys, at least one of whom speaks highly of her. Is the girl meant to be a Good Countepart to Sid (innovating her toys rather than deforming them) or is her doll suffering Stockholm Syndrome?
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  • Award Snub: It received only one Oscar nomination, which it lost to Tarzan, making it the only non Oscar-winning Toy Story film. Its critical acclaim was such that it could have even been nominated, and won, for Best Picture. Notably, it is the only film of the original three that couldn't earn a nomination for its screenplay, despite reviews on par with the other two. Granted this was 1999, often thought of as one of the better years for cinema, but it is generally seen as being equal to just about all of the actual nominees. Though it did end up winning Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes the same year.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Zurg's line "No Buzz, I am your father" followed Utility-belt Buzz's Big "NO!" can come off as this to children who hadn't watched The Empire Strikes Back beforehand, especially given that it has nothing to do with the main plot concerning Woody and his friends, and is quickly dropped off by the time the toys follow Al to the airport, as by that point, Utility-belt Buzz is seen having "reconciled" with Zurg and wants to stay behind to play ball with him.
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  • Contested Sequel: A very minor example. No one disputes that the film is excellent, but some fans can't agree on whether this film is just as good as the original, not quite as good, or even slightly better. Mostly the question comes down to personal preference.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: While the Reality Subtext made it awkward enough for Disney to cut it out of future releases, the gag of Stinky Pete flirtatiously offering two Barbies a role in the sequel, with obvious ulterior motives, is still hilarious on it's own.
  • Even Better Sequel: This movie is not only considered to be one one of the best Pixar films, but also considered by critics to be one of the rare sequels to be better than its predecessor with praise being directed towards the improved animation, deeper characterization from the cast particularly Woody and Jessie with their fear of abandonment, and memorable heart-wrenching scenes like Jessie's backstory.
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  • Faux Symbolism: In Woody's nightmare, the cards surrounding him are all the ace of spades, the card used to represent death in fortune telling.
  • Franchise Original Sin: This was the first Disney/Pixar movie to have a twist villain, which was novel here but would later become a trope that many accused Disney and Pixar of overusing and misusing in The New '10s. The key word there being "misusing", as most agreed it was done very well in this movie and that upon rewatch, the twist reveal all adds up and makes a lot of sense (which was even stated as the intention in the DVD Commentary), and the eventual villain character gets a lot of screentime and development before the reveal. Comparatively, later movies that use this trope do it on a character who is offscreen for a good majority of the movie, the Foreshadowing is either non-existent or vague at best, and the villain ends up thwarted so quickly after the reveal that it ends up lacking any real impact or memorability.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The blooper where Wheezy swallows his squeaker becomes a lot darker when in Toy Story 3, it's revealed that he was lost before the events of that movie took place.
    • The blooper showing Jessie accidentally snapping Woody's pull string becomes harder to watch when in Toy Story 4, Woody loses it along with his voice box for good.
    • The blooper of Stinky Pete flirting with two Barbie dolls, whispering that he might be able to get them a role in Toy Story 3, feels a lot skeevier following director/Pixar co-founder John Lasseter's firing over sexual misconduct. This was enough to get this blooper cut from future releases.
  • Genius Bonus: "What, that's in yen, right? DOLLARS?!" This was done at a time in which not a lot of people in the target audience knew about how Yen worked compared to US/AU/CAN Dollars, which use decimals, unlike Yen. So yes, it really was expensive for Al to check luggage and ship stuff to Japan.
  • Harsher in Hindsight
    • Woody saving Wheezy from being put in a yard sale. Sometime between the second and third Toy Story movies, Wheezy was one of the toys lost before Andy left for college, possibly even having been sold off in a yard sale. Punctuated by this line:
    Wheezy: What's the point in prolonging the inevitable?
    • After Frozen (2013), you can almost hear Emily recite those infamous words at the end of the When She Loved Me sequence. For another Disney example, the Stitch! anime has an episode showing Stitch going through a similar experience of being left behind by Lilo, running contrary to the franchise motto of 'ohana: "Nobody gets left behind or forgotten." (Although in that case, it was a misunderstanding.)
    • When watching Al's tapes of their old show, Jessie mournfully shuts off the TV before the conclusion of "Woody's Finest Hour" because, as Pete claims, the show was canceled before it could air. However, during the scene when Woody rejects Buzz and co.'s rescue, you can hear the conclusion playing in the background. This means Pete has been lying to Jessie and using her abandonment issues for who-knows-how-long to secure his own fate.
    • Prospector accurately predicts the events of the third film - the toys are forgotten and do get sent to a landfill in an experience that they almost don't survive. Thankfully, the toys' ultimate fate is resolved in a happy manner, subverting Prospector's predictions, and he was wrong about Andy not wanting to take Woody with him to college.
    • Jessie's backstory (being lost by the girl who loved her so much, and believing herself to be abandoned) is even more depressing when it turns out that's basically what happened to Lotso in the following movie.
    • Woody convinced Jessie to come with him back to Andy's by telling her that Andy will love her. Comes the fourth film, Woody is the one not being loved by Bonnie after Andy donated the toys to her in the ending of the third film, which drives the entire plot to happen. In fact, the expectation the toys make that children will always love them is thoroughly deconstructed in that film.
    • This film ends with Woody deciding that even after Andy outgrows him, he'll have Buzz to keep him company "for infinity and beyond". The fourth film ends with Woody saying goodbye to Buzz so he can stay with Bo Peep at the carnival. What's worse is the last lines of that movie, as the vehicle containing what's left of the gang is driving away.
      Buzz: To infinity...
      Woody: ...and beyond.
    • During the blooper reel, Flik and Heimlich appear on scene and are under the impression that the film they're in is a sequel to A Bug's Life, before Heimlich breaks the bad news to Flik. Pixar's most overlooked film, A Bug's Life has never been considered for a sequel treatment, being the only pre-Disney era Pixar film with this distinction. Now that a good chunk of its actors are dead, and it still isn't all that well-loved, it probably never will.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: A couple of moments after the events of Toy Story 4.
    • When he decides to stay with Jessie, Bullseye and Pete rather than leave them for good, Woody muses to them "Who am I to break up the Round-Up Gang?" In 4, Jessie and Bullseye support his decision to go off on his own and start a new life.
    • One of the film's best jokes is Bo Peep giving Buzz a good luck kiss and tell him "This is for Woody when you find him," which Buzz replies it "won't be the same coming from [him]." In 4, Buzz and Woody exchange a platonic but completely sincere embrace before Woody leave him to be with Bo.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Stinky Pete, who spent his whole life stuck on a toy shelf never being sold until Al came along. Once he was finally bought, he was kept in the box as a collector's item instead of a toy.
    • Al is a greedy, hostile and occasionally lazy opportunist who steals a woman's possession despite being told it wasn't for sale. Other than that, he doesn't appear to be a dishonest businessman and his trade with the toy museum was implied to be entirely fair. He also has no ideas that the toys are sentient and, therefore, his actions have emotional impact (assuming he wasn't greedy enough to still sell them if he knew). His visible sadness in his final scene is completely understandable, and even rational. Word of God even gives him a Freudian Excuse that his obsession with toys as an adult comes from the fact that his parents never let him play with them as a child.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The beginning part of the movie gave us "X, X everywhere." It is often in the form of a still of when Buzz told Woody about "delicious hot schmoes."
    • In late 2018, Woody's nightmare (specifically the part where Andy says: "I don't want to play with you anymore") began to see use as an exploitable referencing players dropping an old game for a new and more exciting one (such as showing Andy dropping Super Smash Bros. 4 in favor of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate).
    • In early 2019, a meme of Al looking smug and talking to someone at the garage sale has been used to mock people with excessively strong or nerdy opinions.
    • "You can't rush art!" is a popular phrase used by the fandom to describe certain films or video games.
    • "Endgame spoilers without context!" became quite popular after the 2019 release of Avengers: Endgame. This is primarily due to the Buzz vs. Buzz fight being compared to Captain America vs. Captain America.
    • "I can't believe I have to drive all the way to work on a Saturday. ALL THE WAY TO WORK!" Explanation 
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The game for both the PlayStation, the PC and the Nintendo 64 combined the similar free-roaming gameplays of Super Mario 64 and Spyro the Dragon to great effect, while following the plot of the movie. This helped a lot in Europe, where the game's rerelease on the PlayStation Network helped to make out for the Spyro trilogy's late arrival (December 2012). Additionally, several movie locationsnote  translate pretty well to functional video game levels.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The cleaner who repairs Woody, played by Geri of Geri's Game.
    • The Rock'Em Sock'Em robots in Al's office.
    Red: "HEY! HE WAS TALKING TO ME!"
    Blue: "NO, HE WAS TALKING TO ME!"
    (Both fight, and Blue knocks Red's block off.)
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The Game Boy Color version of the video game, like its predecessor on the Game Boy, suffers from bad controls and physics, boring graphics, annoying music and a baffling enemy choice (Rex and the Little Green Men are enemies in this game).
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: This game is far easier compared to the first which was rather Nintendo Hard, thanks to the lack of Unexpected Gameplay Change and making it a fairly standard 3D platformer.
  • Signature Scene: Geri refurbishing Woody is well-remembered. More so, Jessie's backstory during the "When She Loved Me" sequence.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Villain Stinky Pete the Prospector has the unambiguously nasty aim of keeping Woody from returning to Andy, whom Woody knows to appreciate him. However, as he's defeated, he screams "Children destroy toys! You'll be ruined! Forgotten! Spending eternity rotting away in some landfill!" It's a perfectly legitimate concern, and Pete had no way of knowing how good an owner Andy is. His foreshadowing almost comes true in the third movie.
  • That One Boss: The Jackhammer boss from the video game adaptation is remembered by fans as one of the scarier bosses in the game due to his large, intimidating appearance and the creepy laugh he makes if he touches you. And while he is a pretty easy boss by a hardcore gamer's standards, he is one of the tougher bosses in the game, since you can only defeat him with a disc launcher, which doesn't always hit him properly.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Al is meant to be a seen as a skeevy, greedy crook. However, he stole Woody because it's implied he's been looking for a Woody doll for years to be the centerpiece of his massive collection of Woody's Round-up merchandise, which he wants to sell to a toy museum for what is implied to be a considerable sum.note  And he only stole Woody after Andy's mom refused to sell him, even though Al offered her $50 dollars and then his watch. Al may be unpleasant and greedy, but realistically the only crime he committed was petty theft, and it was worth the risk considering Woody was worth. When you see him at the end of the film (after, as far as he knows, all four dolls in the collection were lost at an airport), he's unable to get through his commercial shoot without breaking down into tears over how much he's lost.
    • Stinky Pete is meant to be a deserving victim for betraying Woody and his friends, but we can really sympathize with him as he spent a lifetime in his box on a shelf watching other toys being sold and never got sold himself and felt like he never been loved. As far as he's concerned, being put in a museum to spend the rest of his existence being admired by visitors is his reward for enduring such isolation and loneliness, and now Woody is going to take it away from him.
  • Values Dissonance: The Casting Couch gag in the Hilarious Outtakes immediately became dated once #MeToo took off in 2017. Even disregarding the fact that director John Lasseter was one of the first people to be directly called out for sexual misconduct, it would be seen as much too sexually explicit for a family film after The New '10s, when the negative long term effects that sex in media has on children are taken much more seriously. Unsurprisingly, modern releases omit this clip.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • The toys are looking for Woody in 'Al's Toy Barn', where early on, Rex picks up a magazine that tells him how to defeat Emperor Zurg in the 'Buzz Lightyear' Video Game, and then afterwards, they get a toy van to explore the toy store's different aisles in, with a 'Tour Guide Barbie' on the wheel. During all this, Rex is spending time looking at his magazine in the back seat.
      You'd Expect: That Rex keeps the big magazine to himself without doing anything to disrupt Tour Guide Barbie while she is at the wheel.
      Instead: Upon finding something on the magazine that tells him how to defeat Zurg, he -for no good reason- shoves the whole magazine in front of the driver's view, resulting in them accidentally hitting a large tub of bouncy balls, further causing the van to spin out of control and for Rex to have his 'Source of power,' the magazine fly out of his 'little arms' and underneath one of the lower shelves out of his reach. He even almost gets left behind as he tries to catch up with the van that veered off without him.
  • The Woobie:
    • Wheezy. He was shelved after his squeaker broke and left up there, collecting dust, for who knows how long. He gets much better at the end of the movie, though.
    • Jessie. "When somebody loved me..." She's portrayed with mostly realistic anxiety issues, especially abandonment issues and claustrophobia.
  • Woolseyism:
    • In one scene of the movie, Buzz gives a rousing speech to encourage the toys to rescue Woody. Towards the end of it, an American flag appears behind him while we hear The Star-Spangled Banner play, before transitioning to the exact same image on Al's TV. In international versions of this movie, however, the American flag is replaced with a rotating globe with fireworks, and The Star-Spangled Banner with an original piece by Randy Newman called the One World Anthem.
    • When Wheezy is singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" at the end of the film, he's on a stage made up of letter blocks that spell his name. International versions replace the letters with stars.

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