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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.
      • Emily didn't just abandon Jessie on the side of the road; she carried her nestled up against her side all the way there—just like when she was a kid, giving her obvious preferential treatment over the other toys going into the box. More than that, look at the box. Jessie was a charity donation. Emily almost certainly never meant for her old friend to rot away in a dark box forever; she was trying to donate her to a needy child. She was trying to do exactly what Andy does in the third movie—she was getting older, growing up, she didn't play with her toys anymore, so it was time for a good toy to pass on to someone else. It's possible the box just never saw the light of day...or that Al found Jessie in a charity store, and, not wanting to risk her mint-condition status, kept her in a packing box until he'd almost completed his collection. But Emily clearly intended for her to go to a poor child who would treasure her, and Jessie will likely never know that. There are those who also theorize that Emily might have been Andy's mother, giving Jessie and Woody a deeper bond.
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  • Award Snub: It received only one Oscar nomination, which it lost, 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 trilogy 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.
  • 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: The massive amount of destruction the toys cause simply by crossing the street under a traffic cone.
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  • Ear Worm: Let's be real here, you've probably caught yourself singing the theme song to "Woody's Roundup" from time to time after watching this movie.
  • 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.
  • Foe Yay: A meta example between Mr. Potato Head, a Hasbro toy, and Barbie, a Mattel toy. The respective toy companies are rivals in real life.
  • Franchise Original Sin: This was the first Disney/Pixar movie to have a Twist Villain. It worked well here, since Pete being bad was consistent with his earlier characterization and motives in the movies, and later Pixar movies later did the same thing just as effectively. However, in The New '10s, after Disney and Pixar merged and many Pixar staff assumed leadership rolls at Disney, Disney and Pixar began to be criticized for overusing this trope and/or executing it poorly in a number of their movies.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
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    • 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 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.
    • After Frozen, 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.
    • 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. The fourth film ends with Woody saying goodbye to Buzz so he can stay with Bo Peep at the carnival, making it very likely he'll never see Buzz or the other toys again.
    • 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.
  • 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 start a new life without them.
    • 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 for good to be with Bo.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • It Was His Sled: Stinky Pete reveals himself as the bad guy once Woody convinces Jessie and Bullseye to come with him to Andy.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
  • 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.
  • 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 Red knocks Blue's block off.)
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Values Dissonance: Around 2019, people noticed that newer releases cut out one of the Hilarious Outtakes that are shown during the credits; Disney silently decided to remove the gag involving Stinky Pete offering 2 Barbie dolls a role on Toy Story 3 with heavy implications that he's thinking of a Casting Couch, as nowadays the joke comes off more than a little awkward.
  • 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 Emporer 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, leading to him getting a long life of being shelved. 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 (though oddly, we still hear The Star-Spangled Banner).
    • 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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