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:


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

  1. What if Carl and Ellie are Andy’s grandparents? Or perhaps a relative of some sort of Andy, his Mum or his Dad?

    • Family, maybe. Friends, most likely. Grandparents, no. Not with the establishment in “Up” that they were unable to have children and that they were shown to have not adopted.

      • Of course! I completely forgot that they couldn’t have children.. I guess it’s most plausible that they’re friends. Thanks for explaining!

  2. I have another crazy theory. What if Carl Fredrickson from up is related to Andy from toy story? I might be crazy like the theory, but as said by Jon negroni, There is a postcard in Andy’s room from “Carl and Ellie” I can’t think of another reason they would send a postcard to him unless they were his grandparents. In toy story, you never see Andy’s dad. His mom is known as Mrs. Davis. Mrs? Not unless she was married. They could have divorced or the dad was killed in an accident or something. Also, if the theory is true, then the dad would be the parent related to Carl and Ellie. Again, I might be crazy and implausible, but who knows? Other than Pixar, sarcastic people. I hope to be remembered.

    • If you read Jon’s Pixar Theory you would know that Toy Story happened way before Up so what you say wouldn’t be true. Now, if you see closely at the pictures of the postcard you can see that in Up the postcard is aged up which brings us to my theory/point:
      What if Andy is related to Ellie? But why do I say he is related to Ellie and not Carl? Well if you watch the scene of their wedding you can see the family of both and Ellie’s family is all cowboy-ish and from the country-side and what’s the connection? Ms David and Andy have had cowgirl/cowboy related toys so maybe there is something there? Possibly? Also, by the time Up comes in scene Andy could be a father.
      That is just my theory or stuff. Maybe someone could back this idea up? Please do!

      • About 99% of the “unified Pixar theory” is pretty ridiculous and requires leaps of logic and almost a total disregard for what we have been shown on screen. It’s a huge stretch. The events of UP take place well before Toy Story. The flashback scenes in UP show us a time period consistent with the early 20th century, mabe 1920′s or 30′s. It ends in the, what we can assume is the 2000′s due to the fact that the little boy has a handheld GPS device. toy story takes place in the present day.

          • ACTUALLY Toy Story takes place in the mid 90′s. In TS3, Andy is around 18 years old. On his bulletin board there are a few concert tickets for a band called Humble Beginnings. The tickets are dated for November, 2009. 18 years before 2009 puts andys birth in 1990-1991. If Andy is around 5 or 6 at the time of TS1 it would put the year for that movie at around 1995-1996. So. You are mistaken. There is no evidence to show TS1 takes place in the 80′s.

            • Andy’s birthday is July 5, 1989, he was 6 years old at the time of Toy Story 1 meaning Toy Story took place in 1995. You are right, it does not take place in the 80s. I really wish people would do their research before coming up with these supposed theories…they can’t be theories if they are proven to be fact or fiction am i right, lol, and literally none of what Jon has mentioned above have any facts to them and have all been proven as false….. :/


                  • I absolutely agree sweetblood2kool. There is nothing more frustrating than people who not only dont do their research, but also, refuse to listen to reason when other people do and call them on it.

                    • Im glad someone is finally reading my post, I was afraid no one was listening because I wasn’t agreeing with what they were saying. There are so many facts that disprove Jon’s theories, but no one seems to want to do the research to see whether or not anything Jon has said can be proved or disproved, and the ones who do the research seem to get ignored..o.O

                • lol true very late 80s but I think someone mentioned that TS1 took place in 80s not that he was born in the 80s so i was trying to explain that it could not have taken place in the 80s if ANdy was born in 89 :3 sorry I tend to get all garbled when i write xDDDD

  3. Pingback: Algumas teorias por trás das animações Disney | Princesas do Reino Caiçara

  4. I simply want to mention I am all new to weblog and seriously liked this blog and you article on “THE TRUE IDENTITY OF ANDY’S MOM IN “TOY STORY” WILL BLOW YOUR MIND” is amazing. There are some interesting closing dates in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity however I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish more! Added to FeedBurner as well. More than likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You amazingly have amazing stories. Thanks a bunch for revealing your webpage.

  5. Pingback: A verdadeira identidade da mãe do Andy em Toy Story | Deia na Disney

  6. I’ve just watched toy story one and it shows that it’s not a faded mark around Andy’s hat but a red ribbon, this can be seen clearly in the scene where Andy falls as sleep holding his hat before moving day, it can also be spotted if you look closely at the pictures above. the ‘indentation
    ‘ appears to wrap around the hat which can be spotted to the right side on the picture above.

  7. After watching and listening to Jessie’s song sequence from Toy Story 2, I instantly came to the same conclusion and said so as much via IMDb in the films comments and hoped the Pixar team would put a nod in TS3. It would have definitely left the audience begging.

  8. Regarding the cowboy hat, I think Andy’s mom could have simply just added a red ribbon on top of the white one to make it less “girly”.

    Also, on a personal thought, I find a resemblance between Andy’s mom and Emily’s personality. Emily donated everything related to Jessie when she felt grown up and didn’t need her toys anymore; similarly, Andy’s mom was telling Andy and his sister to clean out things they didn’t need from their room. Honestly, was it really THAT necessary to throw things out when they each have their own room? I think Andy’s mom (possibly Emily) has an obsession with cleaning and organizing. (Or am I the weird one because I actually keep a lot of toys and useless things from childhood?)

    • The hat designs are two completely different hats, to be perfectly honest, these “Easter eggs” are nothing more then shout outs to the Disney staff and creators of past and future movies. The “eggs” are also used to give the views a quick glimpse to their upcoming movies. These theories are fun, however Andy’s mom is not Emily, anyone who enjoys the cowboy/cowgirl genre would likely have one of those hats especially a child. Removing the white ribbon would not have made it less girly since white is technically not a color and also not used to “define” the gender of a child like light blue and light pink are used for boys and girls respectively, (however in the early 1900s and before, pink was actually used for boys and blue was used for girls) and the fact it still contained the white stitching. Also, since woody’s roundup happened before Andy was even born (and even before his own parents were born), its likely the hat is from another cowboy genre type of show that was aired during Andy’s time (since Andy’s hat has white stitching and Emily’s does not) or Woody’s roundup was re-aired since Andy has bedding of Woody’s roundup series which he would not have had if the show never re-aired, and since no one keeps their bedding from childhood it is unlikely the bedding, which seems to be in almost new condition, came from his father.

      However the theory of Woody belonging to his father has in fact been proven as true, when introducing the 2009 set of Toy Story collectibles, John Lasseter said “We always imagined he was a hand-me-down to Andy from his father.” In Toy Story 2 it is revealed that he is based on the main character from a popular 1950s TV show, Woody’s Roundup. When Al is bargaining with Andy’s mom in an attempt to take Woody, Andy’s mom declines Al’s bargain, stating that Woody is “an old family toy.” Stinky Pete also directly refers to him as a hand-me-down toy later in the movie, and when Woody finds a record player in Al’s apartment room, he states “I haven’t seen one of these in ages!”, again supporting that he has been around longer than Andy.
      (- – Under “Characteristics”-)

      Every parent tells their child to give their old toys away, most parents even do it before the child is allowed to receive new toys. My sister has her daughter get rid of all her old toys (broken and ones shes to old for and doesn’t play with anymore) before Christmas and her birthday. So, you can’t really go by that, especially since Andy did the exact same thing as Emily had done, when she was a late teen and had likely gone off to collage which is why she no longer wanted to keep the toys, just as Andy had gotten rid of his (though he donated his to the little girl and Emily left hers on the side of the road as a free for all since she never technically threw them away).

        • Thought I’d also add that Jessie appears in Monsters Inc. as Boo picks up her toys as she is finally returned to her room near the end, entering into the theory of Boo being Jessies original owner, but we also do not know the name of Boo.

          I think Sully re-entering the door sometime later and Boo’s voice being much clearer depicting Boo had aged (or at least my opinion) bares well for the theory of the doors being passages through time, as she sounds like she may have ages a few years though this can not be proven as we don’t see her, yet Sully seems quite surprised as he enters the room.

          Love the theories by the way and each element gives the films a new twist and things to watch out for.

          • Boo’s actual name is Mary Gibbs, Jessie is also not the only toy she is seen with from other Pixar movies, a ball from Luxo, Jr., and Nemo from Finding Nemo are also visible as she shows them to Scully as he says his final goodbyes. Monster’s INC. also started during production of Toy Story 1 in 1994 but was not release until after toy Story 2 in 2001. Which would explain why Jessie was in Monster INC. Nemo, was not released until after Monster’s INC yet was still in the movie, one of Pixar’s in movie hints to the new Pixar movie that was in the works. Boo/Mary was not Jessie’s original Owner, in Toy story 2, its clear that Jessie and Emily’s friendship happened during the 60s maybe late 50s, in Monster’s inc the story line takes place years after not prior to Jessie and Emily’s time line.

            The problem with the theories on this site is that no one does their research, and as much as the theories by Jon Negroni were fun to read, all his theories can be pretty much disproved. His theory however, of Boo/Mary being the old hag from Brave is quite fascinating, however again, This has been confirmed to be nothing more then a rumor as John Lasseter thought that Monster Inc’s final shot of the movie was just too heartwarming to be continued. The ending to Monster’s INC was the perfect ending to the character known as Boo. Thus, she is not the Old hag from Brave, and the wooden carving of the truck from Toy Story and the carving of Sculley, are nothing more then fun little Easter eggs for people to find and think back to old Pixar movies.

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