Hidden Easter Eggs in Toy Story You Probably Missed

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By: Kate Row | Published: Jan 24, 2023

Pixar has a special way of leaving behind tons of hidden details and easter eggs in their films for viewers to find. It’s part of what makes the films exciting to watch for children as well as adults. 

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The Toy Story Franchise is filled with fun little details that reference Disney, other movies, and more. Check out this list of fascinating details in Toy Story that you probably missed the first time around.

1. Woody’s Injured Arm

In the second film of the franchise, Andy uses a red string to repair Woody’s torn arm. His favorite toy cannot go on without his arm! But Pixar displays great attention to detail with this little addition.

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In Toy Story 4 you can see that the red string is still in place where Andy left it in Woody’s arm! We have to wonder how they keep track of all these little details. Props to the Pixar team who remembers to incorporate each tiny detail.

2. The Binford Connection

This easter egg is so well hidden that we’re sure only a super fan could point it out! The tools in Sid’s room are Binford Tools which is the company that sponsors the fictional show “Tool Time” on the real show “Home Improvement. 

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Tim Allen is the star of that show as well as the voice of Buzz Lightyear so it’s a nod to him and his other work. Genius! If you didn’t catch this one don’t feel bad; it’s very subtle.

3. Sid Is the Trash Man

Sid is the infamous villain from the first Toy Story film. He is the boy next door to Andy who’s responsible for all the broken toys and Woody and Buzz are terrified when they find themselves trapped in his land of broken toys.

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Interestingly, Pixar brings him back in the third movie and he looks awfully different! Take a closer look at the garbage man. That shirt looks awfully familiar. It’s Sid all grown up!

4. Is That Boo from Monsters Inc.?

Pixar is so well known for the genius ways they incorporate details from one movie into another. In Toy Story 4 you can see one such example of this. In the carnival scene in Toy Story 4 there is a little girl playing carnival games.

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If she looks a little familiar to you, it’s because she is! That is, in fact, Boo from Monsters Inc. playing games at the carnival. If you have a really keen eye, you might notice Coco’s guitar on that wall of toys as well.

5. The Soda Bottle Cap From Up

Toy Story 4 is chock full of secret details that connect it to other Pixar films. In the fourth film, Little Bo Peep finds a grape soda bottle cap that should look familiar to any fan of Pixar movies.

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It’s a reference to the pin that Carl Fredricksen wears on his coat that was gifted to him from his wife when he was young. Nothing is done by accident in these genius movies!

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6. Reference to The Shining

Pixar doesn’t limit its references only to other Pixar movies. There are many other references to other films outside of the world of Disney and Pixar as well. In fact, there are more than one reference to the 1980 horror movie, The Shining throughout the series.

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One example can be seen in the very first Toy Story film. Woody and Buzz find themselves needing to escape the creepy neighbor’s house. The carpet is the same as that in the hotel in The Shining!

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7. Jessie, You’re in the Wrong Movie

Monster’s Inc. and Toy Story cross paths more than once between the two franchises. It makes fans wonder if they’re supposed to exist in the same world or if it’s just a fun way for movie creatives to plant little secrets throughout the films.

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In Monster’s Inc. the little girl, Boo, actually has a toy from toy story. Your eyes do not deceive you! That is actually a Jessie doll, which all Toy Story fans will be familiar with! We wonder if Boo was dealing with monsters as well as talking toys!

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8. The Wall-E Connection

You might wonder what Toy Story possibly has to do with Wall-E. Creatives found a fascinating way to make a nod to the film about the little lonely robot. In Toy Story 3 we see that Buzz Lightyear has batteries in his back. 

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If you look a little closer you can see that those batteries are made by ‘Buy N Large’ which just so happens to be the same company that made Wall-E. This is actually not the only occasion that the ‘Buy N Large’ makes an appearance in a Pixar movie.

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9. Insane Attention to Detail

The incredible attention to detail is one of the things that really bring magic to life in the Toy Story films. It gives life to the characters and makes you drawn into the world of talking toys. 

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One such example of this detail is in the 4th movie. If you take a close look at Buzz, you’ll notice that his stickers are beginning to peel away. This reminds us that the toys are not brand new, nor are they perfect!

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10. Carl and Ellie From Up Say Hello

You’d have to be a superfan to notice this tiny detail in Toy Story 3. Andy’s bulletin board is filled with posters, letters, calendars, and more. But amongst the other junk is a sweet easter egg from the movie Up which had released one year before the third Toy Story. 

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There is a letter addressed to Carl and Ellie on the board! Some people theorize that they might have been friends of Andy and his family. Some fans even think there might be some family relation between the characters.

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11. Andy’s Handwriting Improves

In another stunning moment of attention to detail, Pixar changes Andy’s handwriting. Obviously, Andy grows up throughout the franchise and the writers were careful to include small details like this that would add to the magic of the film.

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Andy writes his name on the foot of his toys. Woody is his favorite and oldest toy so his handwriting is that of a very young boy. On the new and improved Buzz Lightyear toy, Andy’s handwriting is much improved, showing he is getting older. Who thinks of this stuff?

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12. Jurassic Park

Who would have thought that Toy Story would ever cross paths with Jurassic Park? The two movies seem to have nothing in common except, of course, for the fact that there does happen to be a T-rex in both films.

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Granted, one is certainly scarier than the other. But in the second Toy Story Rex the toy dinosaur is seen running after a toy car through the rearview mirror. This scene is a perfect replica of the infamous scene in Jurassic Park where the T-rex chases the real car.

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13. It’s A Bug’s Life

The Pixar film A Bug’s Life came out in 1998 and quickly became a fan favorite. Toy Story 2 swiftly followed in 1999 and the creators made sure to add a little nod to the other film.

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In Toy Story 2 Mrs. Potato Head can be seen reading a book, but of course, this isn’t just any old book. If you look close enough you can see that she is actually reading A Bug’s Life as is evident from the picture of the ants and reference to Dot in the writing.

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14. Total CGI

Toy Story was somewhat revolutionary for the fact that it was the very first full-length film created entirely by CGI! As a nod to this achievement and the creators, Pixar added in a little easter egg in the first film.

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Andy’s home is listed for sale with a virtual reality real estate company. This seems like a little secret that the creators put in to enjoy for themselves. And they should because this 1995 film set the stage for animation moving forward!

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15. “Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln!”

The scene where Jessie and Woody meet in Toy Story 2 includes one of our absolute favorite easter eggs. Jessie screams, “Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln!” when she meets Woody. 

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This is a reference to the fact that Tom Hanks (who voices Woody) actually happens to be related to Lincoln through President Lincoln’s mother. We wonder whose idea it was to add that little token!

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16. Love For All the Pixar Shorts

In the original Toy Story movie Woody is making a speech to the ther toys. Behind him you can see a pretty unassuming bookshelf in Andy’s room. But the titles of these books actually have a huge significance to the world of Pixar.

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The titles of all of the books behind Woody are titles of Pixar shorts! Knickknack, Tin Toy, and Scooter Run are all famous Pixar shorts that get  shoutout in this scene. You can even see a callout to John Lasseter, who directed the short Tin Toy.

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17. Another Nod To The Shining

We’ve already seen the carpet from The Shining in Sid’s house in the first Toy Story movie. But another subtle callout to the horror film can be seen in this garbage scene in Toy Story 3. If you don’t spot it right away, don’t worry because we didn’t either!

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The license plate on the garbage truck is actually a nod to The Shining. Room 237 is a hotel room in the Overlook Hotel in teh famous Stephen King horror film.

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18. Spot the Teddy Bear

The evil Teddy Bear is one of the most memorable characters from the third movie in the franchise. Don’t be fooled by that kind face because this bear turns out to be anything but sweet.

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But, Teddy Bear actually makes an appearance in another Pixar film. If you couldn’t tell from the balloons in the window, this is a clip from the movie Up. While we were all focused on the house taking flight, Teddy was hiding in the corner all along!

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19. Barbie and Ken

Ken and Barbie are characters that make a splash in Toy Story 3. You might have already assumed this but the dolls are modeled after real life Barbie and Ken dolls. Barbie is based on the 1983 Great Shape Barbie Toy and Ken is modeled after the 1988 Animal Lovin’ Ken Toy! 

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Once again, the attention to detail is absolutely incredible! If you look at a side-by-side of the dolls in Toy Story compared to the real dolls you almost can’t tell the difference. We find ourselves wildly impressed again.

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20. Darla From Finding Nemo

Darla from Finding Nemo is a difficult character to forget. The little girl with pigtails and headgear was the enemy to all fish! But this character actually makes an appearance in Toy Story as well.

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Molly reads an issue of the magazine “Tween Zine” in Toy Story 3 and if you peel your eyes you can see Darla graces the cover! It makes us wonder if she treats her toys the way she treats her fish. Yikes!

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21. The Flag is Replaced With the Globe

In Toy Story 2 you will have seen a different scene based on where in the world you are! The film was released in 1999 and in one particular scene with Buzz, the creators created two versions of the same scene.

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If the film was shown in the U.S. there is an American flag hanging behind Buzz. But in other parts of the world, the flag is replaced with a globe!

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22. Crediting the “Production Babies”

Since the beginning of the franchise in 1995, Pixar has given acknowledgement to a special little group of hard workers in the credits of the Toy Story movies. 

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In addition to all the hard working men and women that made the film possible, they gave a shout out to the babies born to anyone who worked on the film during the making of the movie as well!

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23. The Secret To the Army Soldiers

The little green army men are an integral part of the movies and were a classic toy found in so many boys and girls’ bedrooms in the late 90s and early 2000s. But how would these little guys move if they really came to life?

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To figure it out, the crew made this contraption that would allow them to see how the army men would walk and run if they could actually move! We have a wooden board with shoes taped to it to thank for those little green guys in the movie.

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24. Mickey’s Watch

If you take a look at the background of Andy’s bedroom you’ll find a Mickey Mouse clock on the wall next to the window. It is not the first to hide  Mickey in the film. The Little Mermaid, Frozen, and Lion King have done the same. 

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Disney didn’t actually own Pixar until 2006, which was 11 years after the first Toy Story was released. So, it’s nice that Pixar gave Disney a nod before they were in business together.

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25. Shoutout to Pixar’s Origins

When the toys are plotting a plan to save Woody they use an Etch A Sketch to draw out a map of their plans. This map is actually much more than meets the eye. The creators made the map lead to an exact address of Pixar’s original studio.

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Thus, giving a shout out to the origins of Pixar! Andy also has a street sign with the address name as well: 1001 West Cutting Boulevard in Richmond, California.

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26. Lightning McQueen

There is a very subtle tip of the cap to the Cars franchise in the third Toy Story as well. Although, it’s so fast you probably missed it your first time watching… and maybe even your second or third. 

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A child at Sunnyside Daycare wears a t-shirt that has the number 95 with a lightning bolt on it. The red and gold match that of the legendary racer, Lightning McQueen. Kachow!

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27. May the Force Be With You

The creators give a major nod to the Star Wars universe in the second film of the franchise. Firstly, there is a similar plotline with Buzz and Emperor Zurg that resembles that of the one in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

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But there’s an even more direct correlation if you listen closely. The video game that Rex is playing at the start of the film sounds just like the familiar sounds of Star Wars. Watch it again and see if you can hear the lightsabers buzzing.

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28. The Pizza Truck That Is In All Pixar Movies

Do you know that the character that appears in the most Pixar films is actually a truck? Chances are, if you’ve watched pixar movies before you’ve seen the iconic pizza planet truck hanging out in the background.

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In the second Toy Story the truck actually plays a pretty important role in transporting the band of toys. The truck made its first appearance in the original Toy Story and has only increased its screen time since then.

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29. A Bug’s Life Makes Another Appearance

We saw that A Bug’s Life makes an appearance in the book that Mrs. Potatohead is reading, but there’s another fairly obvious callout to the movie in Toy Story 2. When bUzz is in Al’s Toy Barn, there are toys hung up everywhere in the store.

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Namely, there are A Bug’s Life figurines lining the walls and even one laying on the ground right in front of Buzz. This is one of the more obvious easter eggs we’ve seen hidden in a Pixar film.

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30. The Pixar Mascot

Pixar has something of a mascot in the form of the “Pixar Ball”. This yellow ball with a red star on it can be seen in tons of scenes in Pixar movies and Toy Story specifically. 

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It originated from one of Pixar’s first animated shorts called Luxo Jr. Keep your eye out for this classic Pixar easter egg next time you’re watching one of their movies. You’ll see it more often than you’d think!

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31. Geri… Is That You?

The toy cleaner that gives Woody a revamp might look familiar if you enjoy Pixar shorts. It’s Geri from the Pixar short, Geri’s Game. There is even a confirmation of this fact when he opens one of the drawers of his toolkit. 

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The drawer is full of chess pieces, which essentially confirms the connection to Geri’s Game. We love that they included him in Toy Story as the toy restoration worker.

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32. Dinoco Gas Station

The Dinoco gas station makes an appearance in most of the Toy Story films since the very first one. If the word “dinoco” sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because Dinoco is the oil company that sponsors the Piston Cup in the movie Cars. 

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The crux of the first Cars film is that Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks battle for the Dinoco sponsorship. The creation of this fictional company started all the way back with the first Toy Story film.

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33. The Significance of A113

You will see A113, pronounced “A One Thirteen” all over the Toy Story movies. This was the number of the character animation class at the California Institute of the Arts where Pixar got many of its employees.

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The number became an important symbol that is seen throughout the films. Here, you can see it is the license plate on Andy’s mom’s car. 

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34. A Bug’s Life Calendar

Toy Story 2 came out one short year after A Bug’s Life so there is more than one reference to the film. This is a common phenomenon in Pixar movies. In the second movie if you look behind Rex and Buzz Lightyear, you’ll see a calendar.

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This has a scene from A Bug’s Life as the photo for the month. It’s pretty hidden so you probably wouldn’t know it was there if you didn’t know to look for it!

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35. Finding Nemo!

Andy’s toy chest might not be the first place you look to find Nemo. But, if you look with a  careful eye you will see that the little clownfish is painted right onto Andy’s toy chest in his bedroom. 

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That’s not the only place you will find him! He is also in a  drawing at Sunnyside Daycare in Toy Story 3.

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