The True Identity of Andy’s Mom In “Toy Story” Will Blow Your Mind

It all started with a hat.

Several months ago, one of my anonymous Pixar Theory Interns (that’s a thing on a resume) came to me with a crazy proposition: Andy’s mom is Emily, Jessie’s previous owner.

I laughed. I then agreed.

For some time, I compiled all of the evidence and found some incredible support for this theory. For one thing, take a close look at Andy’s cowboy hat he frequently wears in the movies:

Andy's Hat

Here’s another close look:

Andy's Hat

As you can see, Andy’s hat is noticeably different from Woody’s. Why is this? Why wouldn’t Andy want to wear a hat that closely resembles the one worn by his favorite toy?

It’s no secret that Andy has a close connection with Woody. In Toy Story 2, his mom (who we only know as Ms. Davis) mentions that Woody is an old family toy.

Remember that Woody doesn’t even recall that he is a collector’s item – a toy made in the 1950s. This is a deviation from other toys who know full well where they come from. It’s possible that Woody doesn’t know because he’s been in Andy’s family for a long time, possibly belonging to his father.

But we need more evidence. Take a close look at Jessie’s hat:

Andy's Hat

Ah, this hat looks familiar. It’s the same red hat with white lace that Andy wears. The only difference is that Jessie’s hat has a white lace around the center. But look at Andy’s hat again.

Andy's Hat

There’s a faded mark where the white lace should be. Why do you think that is? And what does Jessie have to do with this?

(Bob Saget’s voice) Kids, you remember the story of Jessie. Her owner Emily grew up with her, much the same way as Andy. She was incredibly loved, but Emily eventually gave her away when she grew older. Jessie ended up in storage for a long time, as confirmed by her in the movie when she has a literal panic attack over having to go back.

Now, take a close look at what’s on this bed in Emily’s room:

Andy's Hat

That is a hat that looks extremely similar to, you guessed it, Andy’s. The room is also pretty old-fashioned, leaving room for this to take place years before Andy was born.

In fact, you can clearly tell that this isn’t modern day with shots like these:

Andy's Hat

The only difference between the hat that Emily wears throughout this sequence and Andy’s hat is an extra white lace around the center, which is visibly missing from Andy’s hat. Otherwise, the hats are identical.

Also, in the donation box that Emily puts Jessie in, we don’t see the hat. We do see other remnants of her connection with Jessie, but the hat is noticeably absent. The box isn’t even big enough to hold it. So Emily held onto that hat…and maybe passed it on to her child, who would grow to also love a cowboy doll.

We never get a closeup of Emily’s face, but we do see that she has light, auburn hair as a teenager. Also, it is very short.

Compared to:

500full

The middle picture is closest to the strawberry blonde color we see when Emily is young. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that her hair lightened as she aged, which is clearly the case in these photos (or she could have dyed it).

Here’s what we know for sure:

We don’t know the first name of Andy’s mom. We don’t know Emily’s last name. We know that Andy’s hat and Emily’s hat are the same. We know that Emily is old enough to be Andy’s mom. We definitely know that Pixar is perfectly capable of sneaking this in without being overt about it.

You may be wondering how the two characters could be the same if Emily was willing to give Jessie up so easily, while Andy was far more hesitant.

Actually, the scenarios are quite similar. Andy forgot about Woody as he grew up too, despite their strong connection. Andy even gave Woody away, albeit in a different manner than Emily.

In the end, it makes perfect sense that these two concurrent stories are so similar because they’re related by blood. It’s also a freak of destiny that Jessie would one day belong to her owner’s son, though we never get to see the mom’s reaction to seeing Jessie again.

She was probably indifferent and believed it to be a different version of the same toy. How would you respond if you saw your child with a toy that looked like one that you had as a kid? Your first assumption probably wouldn’t be that they’re the exact same toy.

What do you think? Do you believe that the two characters are the same and that Andy’s mom/Emily found redemption through the love her son had for the toy she left behind? Or, do you hate fun, love, and destiny? Let me know.

Thanks for Reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

All images courtesy of Disney/Pixar

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859 thoughts on “The True Identity of Andy’s Mom In “Toy Story” Will Blow Your Mind

  1. there has been speculation that Emily is actually Boo, which is why Emily’s room is the same colour as Sully and why Boo and little Emily look alike (aside from the obvious its more cost effectibe to have a standard ‘little girl’ render). I have a theory that could explain this. It is not inconceivable that during her time traveling to find Sully Boo fell in love and had a family. I mean she didn’t just go from little girl to haggard witch! At sone point she would have grown up and maybe she settled in a period of time and had a baby girl, Emily. Boo would have been the one to decorate Emily’s room, hence choosing cpulours that remind her of her lost friend. So lets presume Boo settled down and raised Emily, saw the birth of her grandchildren and then decided in her old age to once again begin hunting for Sully. This would explain why young Emily (presumably Andy’s mom) and Boo look alike. It would also mean that Andy is actually Boo the time traveler’s grandson! It may seem a little far fetched and intricate, but if all these theories are ture it kind of fits in don’t you think?

  2. I really enjoyed this article. But for me as a parent to 3 lovely kids age ranges between 2 to 8 years old. I much more like them to stay at home rather than going outside and running around streets and meeting strangers that will cause dangers to them. Of course we admit that Tablets and smartphones can cause dangers too but is more far from getting abducted, raped and so on. I have introduced them to advance technology as this is a part of our society now and every kid as I believed should be entitled to know more about it since in this generation it is a big plus for kids now who knows technology and eventually use it for the future. All parent should do is know how to control and limit their playing time. And base on my research while struggling to limit my kids playing games on tablets and smartphones I have landed to a very helpful to all that limit what time they can use the tablet, control them and at the same time help them study mathematics. This Screenshot Ninja helps us parents to monitor them while we are busy working. So when their play time expires and they still want to play more they have to solve mathematics problem to gain more. Yeah its fantastic! As I have seen my daughters passionately solving it to gain more play time credits even my 3 year old daughter is asking me, “MOMMY what’s the answer to 2+7?” and I let her count and then all I know is that my daughter can solve math now. :D

    • @Ayesha You are very apt at sneaking in that stupid ad for that stupid spy app. Would you do humanity a favor and kindly fk off the internet and do real work for a living ?

  3. Not only could Emily/Andy’s Mother just think “hey, that looks a lot like my toy”, she could have just forgotten that she had a cowgirl. Think about it. Emily was pretty young when she still played with her. She sort of just forgot about her just as a teenager, so why couldn’t she just forget that she had a cowgirl doll? It makes perfect sense!

    • I don’t agree cause she wasn’t a kid anymore when she got rid of Jessie! She can’t have forgotten her cowgirl doll!

    • There is no way Andy’s mom is Jessie’s owner and here is the prove in Toy Story 2 when Wheezy gets yard saled Woody goes to save him. When he falls he says something leading the Owner of The Toy Barn to discover him and try to buy him for along with other things for 50 cents but instead of her selling him she says ” hey how did that get there?” He tries to talk her into selling Woody to him but she says ” no it is a family Arlume and locks it in the cash box. The owner of the toy barn then kicks a skateboard off to the side forcing her to leave so he could pick the box and steal Woody for his collection. So my question is if Andy’s mom was Jessie’s owner why would she keep Woody but not Jessie?

      Just something to think about.

      • She actually says “it’s an old family toy.” This could imply the toy belonged to Andy’s father, who we are never introduced to or made aware of (possibly passed away). For all we know, Woody could be a family gift passed down by his father, and Andy has worn that hat even in the first film before Jessie or Emily were mentioned, so it could be possible.
        Another, but less interesting, possibility is that with CG films, having to constantly model and rig newer and newer objects in a particular world can take a lot of time and use up a lot of computer memory and power. For this reason, it becomes more economic to just reuse preexisting models. So it could be just a coincidence.
        Either way, what if there was a story, before Toy Story 3, where Jessie finds out that Andy’s mom is really Emily. That could be really interesting.

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  5. Pingback: 万万没想到,《玩具总动员》里那个男孩的妈妈竟然是……她!

      • Dear Anonymous,
        I know what sarcasm is and I’m afraid you used it in this. I am not the kind of person who hates sarcasm, but, uses it on a daily basis. But I’m very afraid that I do not like it like this. Thank you very much. Good day. -Shine! P.S please start believing people again. Maybe you need to revisit Peter Pan. P.P.S I do know Peter Pan is a Disney character, not Pixar. Thank you for noticing my error, but, I was making a believing statement and Peter Pan is best known for believing. Thank you and good day to you and your friends! :)

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  11. It does seem possible that Boo was Emily’s mum because in Monsters Inc, doesn’t Boo give Sully a Jessie toy? So Boo could have passed this down to Emily.

  12. I was interested but couldn’t get past the ads that popped up over every picture as I scrolled down. Pretty much ruined the reading experience for me.

    Maybe I’ll stop back when I’m on my laptop, with Adblock.

  13. Toy Story’s first movie was in the 90’s, and Emily’s room (When it changed) Has 60’s decorations. From 60’s to 90’s there are 30 years, so Emily can be Andy’s mum.

  14. Wait, ‘Lemurs’? Was that a reference to the ‘Monkees’? But didn’t get the copyright thing? Cool. What I found out in one of the actual versions (story boarding) of Jessie’s song in TS2 ‘When She Loved Me’ when they pan over the dresser, there was a version of the Beatles’s ‘HELP!’ records. I LOVE how many references Pixar puts in their movies! Or even in the story boarding process! Amazing theory about Emily, too. But, wouldn’t Jessie recognize Ms.Davis if she saw her? And she did, did she not? Or do I need to re watch some of these movies?! -Shine! :)

    • They’re talking about a Toy Story 4, but in my own opinion, I’d much rather they just stick with the shorts and let the film series end gracefully.

  15. simply put andys hat is pointed similar to woodys. jessies’ hat is completely round. love the speculation. may even b true but its easy to c difference in hats

    • Very true, but the idea isn’t that Andy’s hat is necessarily identical to Jessie’s. It’s that the hat is identical to Emily’s.

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