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

1,111 thoughts on “The True Identity of Andy’s Mom In ‘Toy Story’ May Blow Your Mind

  1. Nice theory. But, it is not correct. Jennifer Davis is the name of Andy’s mother. Emma Jean is a prior love interest of Carl Fredrickson. As in, Carl and Ellie Fredrickson. Pete Docter said so himself. But, perhaps it is plausible that Emma Jean is Jennifer Davis’s mother? As in, Carl and Emma Jean’s child. Emma, short for Emily, was the original Jessie doll owner. Seeing g how much her grandson shared her love of Sheriff Woody, but, only having a Cowgirl Jessie hat, takes rhe band off (or it simply got old and fell off) and gifted the hat to him. Andy, rummaging through boxes of saved memorabilia (as children often do) found the card from his grandmother and decided to keep it. Because, as it says on the post card, she is far away. And he misses her. Just a theory.

  2. I don’t hate destiny but I don’t love her either. Seeing as I already have a girlfriend. LOL. Sorry I couldn’t resist that one.

  3. She cant be Emily, cause if Emily have arround 8 or 10 years in 1950, in Toy Story 3 , she’s supposed to look more older. Maybe like a young grandma. But she’s not. She actually look like 40 ! Maybe, Woody was her toy.

  4. I think that to if she was she would look like 64 or 66

  5. Do tij k doll gigs bud to Emma

  6. Emily(Emma) owned both Woody and Jesse. I say this because if you pause Toy Story 2 during Jesse’s flashback(the part where the horses on the dresser start to disappear) you can see Woody’s reflection in the mirror on the left side. Now years later When Emma finds Jesse under the bed she donates her ,now in the box that Jesse is we see a couple of Woody’s round up things in the box with her,except the hat and Woody even Al didnt even have the hat in his collection. Emma probably sent the hat, Woody ,and that postcard to her grandson Andy.

    • First I just want to I don’t want to be a naysayer but didn’t they make it pretty prominent in Up! that Emma and Carl couldn’t have children. However that doesn’t mean that Emma and Carl aren’t an aunt and uncle of Andy’s Mom or perhaps a close family friend like a neighbor. I could see her being a “favorite” as I had that growing up as my grandparents were gone when I was young. Are the houses that were once next to Emma and Carls house nearby or in the same neighborhood?

      • However, could Russell from Up! be a stepbrother of Andy… what if Russell’s distant father is Andy’s father too. He could have left and remarried another woman and left again… Even more disturbing and sadder notion is what if Russell is Andy’s father, and he did the same thing to Andy that his father did to him, which can be a heartbreaking and common pattern

      • And, sorry to have this over several posts, I’m adding to the theory as I discover information but if the Carl and Ellie theory that Carl has too passed on and the rest is a dream is true then this would fit this way. If Russell was Andy’s father (and so all the memorabilia would have been passed down to Andy) he left his family and perhaps died, and they didn’t know. What if Russell needs to redeem himself for this bad deed, and so is sent to be a guardian angel to help Carl to pass into the afterlife. The same thing works if Andy and Russell are half-brothers who have the same father, and they don’t know the other exists…

        I would like some help elaborating these theories, if anyone can get more supporting and/or contrasting information about this?

  7. i love this idea.
    this also explains why Andy’s mom keeps pushing Andy to donate his toys ….. like she did

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  9. Ni… Jessie would’ve recognized Andy’s mom even if she doesn’t recognize Jessie.

  10. The story you share is very interesting and interesting. Very beautiful character image. story situations are fascinating.

  11. Not thesame hat… Andy’s hat has a crease in front and the top is more similar to a cowboy hat, whereas Jesse has a round hat

    • The hat on Emily’s bed is also round

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