The True Identity of Andy’s Mom In ‘Toy Story’ May Blow Your Mind

Andy's Mom

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.

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All images courtesy of Disney/Pixar


1,103 thoughts on “The True Identity of Andy’s Mom In ‘Toy Story’ May Blow Your Mind

  1. What if Andy didn’t get the hat from his mom though? What if he got it from a close family friend…say, Emma Jean? I mean, she has the name Emily,(kind of), and you can see a postcard from her on Andy’s wall or something right? What if Andy’s dad left his mom for Emma because they have more in common or something? I know there’s a lot of holes in this, but it just doesn’t make sense to me that Andy’s mom would give him this hat, and then totally push space rangers all the way up to getting Andy buzz light year posters and bedspreads like a month before they move out of the house.

    • Andy’s mom gave him the hat she still had because he wanted a hat like woody’s and she happened to have one.
      It was Andy’s birthday before the move and it makes sense he was given buzz light year stuff from other family members as gifts. Bedspread, poster etc.
      Andy’s mom told them that’s what he was into these days .

  2. It makes sense, because when Andy returned from summer camp and saw the “new” toys, his mom wasn’t surprised at all that Jessie was there.

  3. But in monsters inc. When sully finds boo they were working in america. The mediaeval era happened in Europe, so how does she arrived Europe if she were at america?

    • Okay, first of all, I don’t think recording dialogue is really canon.
      Second of all, OF COURSE this wasn’t intended! You really think Pixar would go through the length of doing something like that?! It’s just a theory, made by fans! It’s completely up for debate!
      I mean, honestly…

  4. My son is 14 and I have a 2 year old girls and it seems like my whole life I’ve been watching Toy Story 1 & 2.. countlessly!
    Someone out there put together my thought’s are exactly the same…
    Jessy is Andy’s mums doll..simple the hat due to time and wear has lost its white band..
    But she still passed it down to her son as a cowboy hat…kindness should be a moral end to any good story for children.

  5. Then why there wasn’t any reaction form Andy’s mom or Jessie?
    Look, I completely agree with you that the film makers would love to keep this secret a secret but again for what?
    And what if the hat worn by Andy was gifted to Andy by someone who wasn’t aware of his love of Woody?
    And if this was the hat given to Andy by her mother then why isn’t there any scratch? I am pretty sure if Woody dates back to 50s similar date is with Jessie then why she remembers everything?

    • Because there were a few of the dolls made (I.E. Jessie in Boo’s room in Monsters, Inc.) the mom probably didn’t recognize her as the same one and thought it was another one. Jessie was abandoned WAY before Andy was born so she probably doesn’t look familiar. Even though Andy’s mom probably recalled to her son that she had one she probably still didn’t think it would’ve been the EXACT SAME one.

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