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Series Wide

  • Ascended Fridge Horror: The series starts out taking the concept of sentient toys pretty lightly, but as it goes on, it explores the Fridge Horror of the concept more and more thoroughly, eventually to a further extent than most people would probably expect from a children's movie series.
  • Deconstruction: Of the more Fridge Horror-y aspects of the original. Heartwarmingly Reconstructed in 3.
  • Designated Villain: Arguably, Sid from the first film. "Kids Are Cruel" and "Villainy Free Villain" under the original film's folder on the main page.
    • Also, the first two movies had a toy version of Rousseau Was Right, but the third throws it right out the window!
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: "Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not by threat of force!" Three words: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya.

 Stinky Pete: How long will it last, Woody? Do you really think Andy is going to take you to college, or on his honeymoon?

Stinky Pete: Children destroy toys! You'll all be ruined, forgotten! Spending eternity rotting in some landfill!

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Maybe, if we find some balloons, we can float to the top!"
    • As one person has noted, at the end of 2, Buzz gets a wingboner.
      • Also in 2, the Hilarious Outtakes have, at one point, the Prospector having a conversation with twin Barbie dolls and telling them he'd try to get them a part in the third movie. And indeed...
      • While the toys and the wrong Buzz are spying on Al, Buzz speculates that he is one of Zurg's minions. This line becomes especially hilarious when one remembers that Wayne Knight, the guy who voiced Al, will later voice Zurg in the spinoff Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
  • Girls Need Role Models: The creators' wives, female animators who arrived in the interim between Toy Story 1 and 2, and Joan Cusack all pushed to make Jessie a stronger character.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Move out of the way children, I've been waiting 11 years to see Toy Story 3."
    • Nearly everyone agrees that the only real reason why the third film was in 3-D was so everyone had glasses to obscure their Manly Tears.
    • THE CLAAAAAAAAW!
    • "You are a ______'s play-thing!"
    • "There's a snake in my boot!" and "Somebody poisoned the water hole!" probably count to a lesser extent.
    • "Look! I'm Woody! HOWDY HOWDY HOWDY!"
      • Ha-ha, ha-ha, gimme that back.
    • "To infinity and beyond!"
    • Falling With Style!
    • BUZZ LOOK AN ALIEN!
    • A scene from the second film (where Buzz assures Woody he'll be eating hot "schmoes" with Andy in no time) served as the template for the "X, X Everywhere" meme.
  • Nightmare Fuel: See here.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games / Licensed Game: Zig-Zagged.
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
  • Uncanny Valley: Like so many elements inherent to the series since the very beginning, this Trope has finally come full circle. While in the original the human characters appeared unnatural and robotic due to the Valley (the very reason the animation of the toys was convincing for its time), as of the third film Pixar made the humans more stylised in line with Ratatouille and The Incredibles. However, Pixar instead invokes the Valley to great effect with Ken and Barbie, whose animations are just subtly inhuman enough to make them very slightly creepy. This is especially apparent in Ken's opening scene, and he is most certainly not to be trusted. Big Baby is the Uncanny Valley personified.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Stretch.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: Possibly one of the most ways of a movie getting around the Animation Age Ghetto while still remaining a family film. The eleven year gap between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 leaves a large adolescent/young adult audience that grew up with the first Toy Story movies. With this audience in mind, the movie works not only as a kids film, but as a celebration of childhood for those entering adulthood.
    • All Moral Guardians freaks aside, Toy Story 3 does heavily push a G rating in terms of intensity, action, and implied offscreen torture and violence, and probably received a couple exemptions from the MPAA (like Titanic's nudity). If it were another movie, it'd probably get a PG rating.
      • The toys all face certain death twice. And not just Disney death. Shredded to bits and burned in the fiery pits of Mordor death. And right before their final demise, they all HOLD HANDS. Like a CULT! When I first watched this, the entire group I was watching it with cried.
    • A special college-students-only advanced 'cliffhanger' screening, featuring opening comments from the director in which he said he wanted to give us a sneak peek because we were the kids who saw the first movie when it came out, and the film's themes were particularly germane to our lives. (It was even deliberately scheduled for April so we wouldn't have left for the summer yet. Aww.) It seems to be a film that can be experienced on several levels.
  • The Woobie: It's hard not to feel sorry for Buzz when learns the truth about the nature of his existence.
    • Also, Jessie in the second movie.
    • In spite of his initial creepiness, you gotta feel for Big Baby after he is convinced by Lotso that he's been "replaced."

Toy Story

  • Harsher in Hindsight: Sid plays the role of Darth Vader (and probably Palpatine) and torturing a Rebel Soldier (Woody) for the location of the Rebel base during his "playtime" with Woody (including putting a magnifying glass). The tense scene becomes even more tense for Star Wars fans who played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed where the main character, who has a passing resemblance to Sid, was taken as a kid by Darth Vader to be used as a Sith apprentice.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The first movie made kids suspicious of their toys for years to come.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: For 1995, the CGI in the film was groundbreaking and jaws dropped when the film was unleashed in cinemas. But for some people today, for example new fans who watched Toy Story 3 first and worked backwards, the differences in animation can be hugely jarring. The outside scenes with a lack of....air, the plastic looking humans, the rubbery texture and the somewhat 'basic' looking settings (the bit where Andy and his Mom pull into Dinoco service station looks incredibly dated). Though the Pizza Planet scenery still looks impressive.
  • Uncanny Valley: The humans in the film look almost as plastic as the toys do due to the CGI limitations of the time, this is most noticeable during outside scenes where humans are featured (the scene where Sid blows up Combat Carl is a notable example).

Toy Story 2

Toy Story 3

  • Continuity Lock Out: True, this isn't The Matrix Revolutions. But viewers new to the series may wonder why the green aliens are constantly talking about "the Claw". An attempt to bridge this gap is made when they first arrive at the daycare. The aliens point at a construction vehicle toy with a claw and say "The Claw!" to establish that connection with new viewers.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The scene where the daycare children rough up your toys is a little dark, but then Jessie's head gets dunked in paint. The line is crossed again when Rex loses his tail. Then again when Buzz is used as a mallet.
  • Faux Symbolism: Yeah. The incinerator? Totally not a metaphor for Hell. Heck, the whole journey through the Dump could be a condensed, metaphorical adaptation for Dante's Inferno.
    • Most of the theories posted here originally can now be found in the Wild Mass Guessing/Toy Story page
    • One working theory is that the entire third movie is a metaphor for the afterlife. See this essay for more info.
    • It should probably be noted that Lotso never made it out...
  • Hell Is That Noise: The screech the Cymbal-Banging Monkey makes when seeing prisoners trying to escape.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Rises sharply once all main characters except Woody and Buzz are jailed, with Buzz being one of the guards. Remains pretty high, but stable, from that point onwards, until the dumpster scene, at which point it begins to continuously rise even further. It begins to decrease after the toys are saved, though.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Subverted. Lotso's Jerkass tendencies outweigh The Woobie side.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Lotso in the first half of the film, prior to his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Memetic Molester: Surprisingly, Woody, thanks to the alternate face that comes with his Revoltech Sci-Fi action figure.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In Toy Story 3, Lotso had already established himself as a dog-kicking machine as he tortures and Mind Rapes the toys during the movie, but irrevocably crosses the horizon when he pretends to try to turn off the Conveyor Belt of Doom leading to the incinerator, then leaves the other toys to their deaths with the remark "where's your kid now, sheriff?", complete with a mocking salute and evil smile. This after he pretended to be redeemed and after Woody and Buzz had just risked their lives to save him. So much for Rousseau being right this time, as is usually the case for Pixar.
  • Really Tough Act to Follow: Why most fans feel there should be no more sequels after Toy Story 3.
  • Toy Ship: Trixie and Rex, or that "just-a-dinosaur!" across the street...
  • Unfortunate Implications: Ken's being a 'girls toy', as well as his Camp Straight sensibilites, is often subject to mockery & ridicule, and not just from the Sunnyside toys (This comes to a head in the escape plan because, while the bookworm sees Barbie's feet poking from under the spacesuit, he just assumes Ken's wearing the high heels because he's a girls toy, not even bothering to notice how tiny the feet suddenly were, or the girlier walk). Several bloggers has likened this to mild homophobia.
    • It's the old question: If being anti-gay is a bad thing, and a work shows some villains doing such bad things, and the villains aren't sympathetic, and lose in the end - is this bad or not?
    • At the end of the film of course Ken and Barbie are running things at Sunnyside, and he seems to really enjoy being as fruity as he likes without reprimand or ridicule from any of the bullies from Lotso's cabal, and everyone seems to love him for it. If anything it's quite an impressively progressive depiction of the oppression of feminine tastes in men and their eventual social acceptance, especially from a "kid's" movie.
    • But when Buzz and Woody and Jessie are reading the letter, they all visibly wince when it's pointed out that Ken wrote it.
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