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

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  3. I want this to be true, but get out your Toy Story DVD and skip to the part where Andy is going to sleep the night before the move. He has the hat in his hand, and you can plainly see that the faded band is actually a hat band. Part of it is raised up and there’s a shadow underneath it.

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  4. actually, jesse’s hat isn’t quite the same as andy’s. missing white lace is understandable. however, there’s also a missing white line around the rim of andy’s hat. jesse’s hat has this white line around the edge of her hat. the hat between andy’s hat and jesse’s hat is obviously not as important as between emily’s hat and andy’s hat.

    really awesome theory though.

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  5. i am really amazed at the observation skills and creatvity it took to come up with this theory. however you can clearly tell that emily’s hair is a complete shade of red. and the moms hair only semi-resembles emily’s hair. but it does all make perfect sense and like you said, she couldve dyed it. while i was viewing a clip from the soon to come out “inside out”, i noticed that the main character riley, extremely resembles andy’s mom!

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    • It’s pretty much impossible for Andy’s mom to be the same as Riley’s mom for many, many reasons. The biggest one being location. Riley’s family is from Minnesota and moves to San Francisco, they don’t actually look alike, where would Molly and Andy be?, she’s suddenly married now?, we know the Davis family lives in Tri-County Calfornia, and so on.

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  6. Honestly you guys all have really good points and great observation skills. But though pixar is smart and sneaks lot’s of easter eggs in the movies. I don’t think they would go as secretive as to change the color of the Mom’s hair I’m pretty sure they would keep it the same color for they might want some people to find out and not get thrown off.

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  7. You know, I actually had the same idea that Emily was actually Andy’s mom. Although I never noticed that thing with the hats. Of course, since the movie never confirmed my theory, I assumed I was the only one who thought of it. Glad I’m not the only one. I’m still not sure if I believe it though, just wanted to point out that it had crossed my mind.

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  8. Two things. Woody probably knows the mother’s name. He would’ve mentioned it to Jessie at some point. The other is that Jessie herself would’ve seen the mother at some point in her time with Andy and come to the conclusion. There’s no mention of this in the third movie and it’s not small enough to just leave out if true.

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    • Well Woody might not know because andy just calls Andy’s Dad is never seen so theres not many people who can actually call her by her name. Also the event with Jessie happened a long time ago so she probably doesn’t recognize her.

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      • Wait That statement doesn’t make sense let me rephrase it
        Andy just calls his mother “Mom” and Andy’s Mom doesn’t have a husband so there are not many people who can actually call Andy’s mom by her real name. Another thing is this happened a long time ago so Jessie might not know what Andy’s mom looks like.

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  10. Bro, the girls hat has a white band and a straight brim. Clearly not the hat Andy is wearing. Which has a curved brim and brown band. Look at the photos you posted to “prove” your theory.

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  11. I really like this idea, when looking at the movie i actually asked myself why he got a girl’s hat, and that was because Woody’s hat is brown while Jessie’ is red. The fact the white band and lace in Andy’s hat are brown seems to me like they are made of white cloth discolored and dirtied in the years. If i was a child, i would totally enjoy my cool looking old and dirty hat, and praise my mom to not ever wash it. The white lace feels to me like a plastic or nylon lace, so that it remained the same in the years. Also the curved brim could simply be for the fact that the hat has been stored, in a box or in a closet, for so much time with no so much attention, like it’s usual to do with this kind of old objects. Or simply Andy curved it to resemble his hero’s hat.
    Nice catch!

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