Sheriff Woody

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Sheriff Woody Pride
Toy Story character
Sheriff Woody.png
First appearanceToy Story (1995)
Last appearanceLamp Life (2020)
Voiced by
In-universe information
SpeciesHumanoid pull-string doll
Significant otherBo Peep

Sheriff Woody Pride,[1] commonly known simply as Woody, is the main character in the Toy Story franchise created by Pixar. He is a pullstring cowboy rag doll and one of the two leaders (along with Buzz Lightyear) of the toys in the movies. His facial features are based on Tone Thyne, a former Disney animator.[2] He is voiced by Tom Hanks in the feature-length films and short films, and by Tom's brother Jim Hanks in video games and merchandise.


Tom Hanks (in 2019), Woody's primary voice actor

Toy Story[edit]

In Toy Story, Woody is the favorite toy of his owner Andy Davis and is the leader of the toys in Andy's room. However, his position is jeopardized by the arrival of Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut action figure that Andy gets as a birthday present. Buzz is convinced he is an actual Space Ranger, and the other toys quickly come to like him more than Woody. Annoyed and jealous, Woody tries to knock Buzz behind a desk, in hopes of retaining his status as Andy's favorite toy; Buzz instead falls out an open window and the other toys accuse Woody of getting rid of Buzz on purpose. Although it was just an accident, the toys do not believe Woody and become antagonistic towards him.

Woody and Buzz eventually wind up in the house of Andy's malicious neighbor Sid Phillips, who likes to destroy toys for fun. Buzz becomes depressed after realizing he is an action figure, but Woody cheers him up by explaining how happy he makes Andy. The two work together and eventually reunite with Andy as he and his family move to a new house. Woody is re-accepted amongst the other toys and forms a friendship with Buzz.

Woody's romantic interest in the film is Bo Peep.

Toy Story 2[edit]

In Toy Story 2, Woody is stolen by a toy collector named Al McWhiggin, who spots Woody at a family yard sale while Woody is trying to save another toy from being sold. At Al's apartment, Woody discovers his past and legacy as the star of a 1950s Western children's show titled Woody's Roundup, which also starred Stinky Pete the Prospector, cowgirl Jessie, and Woody's horse Bullseye. Woody learns that he and the other Roundup toys will be shipped to Japan to be displayed in a toy museum, which will only accept the collection if Woody is in it.

Prospector was never sold until Al found him, and thus had never experienced the love of a child. Prospector is intent to make sure that the Roundup toys get into the museum; he convinces Woody to go along to Japan and forget Andy. Buzz and a few of the toys from the first film arrive to rescue Woody, who changes his mind and decides to return home. However, Prospector prevents Woody from leaving the apartment, ultimately leading to a confrontation at the airport, where Prospector's plan is foiled. Woody, Buzz, and the other toys return to Andy's house, bringing Jessie and Bullseye with them.

Toy Story 3[edit]

In Toy Story 3, Andy is now 17 years old, and preparing to leave for college. When Andy's other toys mistakenly believe that they were thrown out as trash, they decide to donate themselves to the Sunnyside daycare center. While the others choose to stay, Woody attempts to return to Andy, but is instead found and taken home by a little girl named Bonnie, who attends Sunnyside. At Bonnie's house, he becomes friends with her toys, who are horrified that he came from Sunnyside and tell him about the true nature of the daycare.

Woody returns to the daycare, where Andy's toys have been imprisoned by the daycare toys' bitter leader, Lotso. Woody gathers Andy's other toys and helps them to escape, but during a confrontation with Lotso, they wind up inside a dumpster and are taken to a landfill. Andy's toys eventually escape and return to his house. Woody arranges for the toys to be donated to Bonnie's house to enjoy life with a new owner. Andy describes to Bonnie how he views his old toys and tells her that Woody has "been my pal for as long as I can remember," then states that Woody is his favorite toy because he is loyal and would never give up on anyone which is what makes Woody so special.

Toy Story 4[edit]

In Toy Story 4, Woody is not being played with as much as he used to, unlike all the other toys. Later, Bonnie creates a new toy, Forky, who believes he is trash because his body consists primarily of a disposable spork. Woody tries repeatedly to keep Forky from disposing of himself, and in one instance, the two become separated from Bonnie and the other toys while on vacation. While trying to reunite with Bonnie, Woody teaches Forky the joys and responsibilities of being a toy. Woody later encounters Bo Peep, who has lived on her own for years without an owner, after being sold by Andy's mother nine years earlier.

Woody and Bo later team up to rescue Forky from a doll named Gabby Gabby, who wants Woody's voice box in return for Forky's release. Woody and Bo have an argument after their rescue plan fails. Woody then agrees to give up his voice box, after realizing Gabby Gabby has lived life as an unwanted toy due to her own defective voice box. Woody and Bo later reconcile and decide to stay together, after Buzz assures Woody that Bonnie will be okay without him. After saying goodbye to his friends, Woody and Bo go on to help lost toys find new owners.

Other appearances[edit]

Woody made a cameo in the outtakes of Pixar's 1998 film A Bug's Life as a crew member, clapping the upside-down clapperboard. Then he appeared in the Andy's room sequence of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins where he was voiced by Jim Hanks (Tom Hanks' brother), and the Andy's room intro of the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command television series as a cameo. Later, he appeared in the end credit epilogue of Pixar's 2006 movie Cars as a toy station wagon. He also appeared in the theatrical shorts Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, and Partysaurus Rex, released from 2011 to 2012. He also appears in the television specials Toy Story of Terror! (2013) and Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014). Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) has appeared and presented at the 68th, the 72nd, and 88th Academy Awards. Woody also appeared in the 2007 film Meet the Robinsons along with Jessie and Bullseye. Woody appeared in the 2017 Family Guy episode "The Finer Strings" in a cutaway gag set up by Stewie Griffin. The gag involves him walking in on Buzz and Bo Peep sleeping together. Woody and Buzz appear as piñatas in Pixar's 2017 film Coco. He also appears in various Disney crossover media, including the Disney Infinity series, Lego The Incredibles and Kingdom Hearts III.


Woody is a passionate guy who throws himself into every action. As soon as he has an instinctive thought like "I have to help them," or "I have to run away," he does it with 100-percent commitment. You gotta love that about anybody. What's great is that I get credit for the way the character and the humor come off. I have kids that are now in college come up to me and say, "when you told that neighbor kid to play nice, that really meant a lot to me".

Woody is an old-fashioned floppy pullstring cowboy doll. The voice-box that is activated by the pullstring says many simple phrases such as "Reach for the sky!", "You're my favorite deputy!", "There's a snake in my boot!", and "Somebody's poisoned the waterhole!". As mentioned in Toy Story 2, his construction includes an "original hand-painted face, natural dyed-blanket stitched vest," and "hand-stitched poly-vinyl hat." Woody wears an empty gun holster at his belt. He is Andy's favorite toy since kindergarten, with a special spot on the bed, and is the leader and the brains of the toys in Andy's room. In Toy Story 2, it is revealed that he starred as 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, stating that Woody is "an old family toy." Prospector also directly refers to him as a "hand-me-down cowboy doll" later in the movie. Toy Story director John Lasseter said "we always thought" that Woody was "kind of a hand-me-down" to Andy from his father.[4] Woody is voiced by Tom Hanks in the films and by his brother Jim Hanks on other occasions.

In the films, Woody makes friendships with Buzz and Jessie. Although Woody and Buzz initially have a dislike for each other, they eventually become friends as the first film progresses. Woody and Jessie argue with each other sometimes, but remain close friends.

In the mock outtakes of Toy Story 2, Woody is shown to have a more mischievous side towards Buzz, pulling pranks including hiding in a Buzz Lightyear cardboard box to make faces as Buzz walks past the hundreds of Buzz Lightyear toys on the shelves, drawing on Buzz's helmet, and using Buzz's wings as advertising space for rent when they suddenly pop open.

Woody is named after Woody Strode, a character actor known for many roles in Western films.[5] It was revealed in August 2009 by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich that Woody's official last name is "Pride".[1] Unkrich stated in his Twitter feed that "Woody's actual full name is 'Woody Pride', and has been since the earliest days of developing the original Toy Story."[6]

Pullstring quotes[edit]

Some of Woody's known pullstring quotes include "Reach for the sky!", "This town ain't big enough for the two of us!", "You're my favorite Deputy!", "Somebody's poisoned the waterhole!", and "There's a snake in my boot!". This last phrase is an old reference to alcoholic hallucination that was commonly used during the Wild West era; the concept is akin to seeing pink elephants, a later euphemism from the early 20th century.[7] The euphemism, owing to the franchise's family-friendly approach, was left as an unexplained inside joke, and Woody is never seen drunk. In Toy Story 3, a quote that was not used from the first film which was, "I'd like to join your posse boys, but first I'm gonna sing a little song", is heard when Woody is in Bonnie's room for the first time. The saying is originally in a deleted scene in the first film set in Sid Philips' room.

Relationships with Other Characters[edit]

Buzz Lightyear[edit]

Buzz Lightyear is Woody's best friend throughout the franchise. In Toy Story, the two toys started out as rivals with Woody being jealous when Buzz replaces him as Andy's favourite toy and Buzz thinking that he is a real space ranger, despite Woody trying to persuade him otherwise. Woody's jealousy causes him to accidentally knock Buzz out of Andy's bedroom window. Woody is taken to pizza planet where he is reunited with an angry Buzz - a fight between the two causes them to become separated from Andy and captured by his evil neighbour, Sid who destroys toys. Despite their rivalry, Woody tries to protect Buzz at all costs. Buzz soon enough realises he is a toy and is too depressed to help Woody. However, Woody helps Buzz to realise the joy he can bring to a child as a toy, making Buzz accept his true purpose and reconcile with Woody. When Woody saves Buzz from Sid with the help of Sid's toys, Buzz thanks Woody as the two shake hands, ending their tensions and rivalry and their friendship begins. At he end of the film, Woody and Buzz help each other to reunite with Andy and are best friends.

In Toy Story 2, Buzz is horrified when Woody is kidnapped. When realising that Woody is in Al's Toy Barn, Buzz enlists the help of some of Andy's toys to help him save Woody, noting how Woody previously risked his life to save him. Throughout the journey, Buzz shows his loyalty to Woody by refusing to allow the rescue party to rest until Woody is back home. When he does catch up with Woody, he is upset to hear that Woody would rather be donated to a museum in Japan than return to Andy, who he is convinced will outgrow him. Buzz reluctantly allows Woody to go but not without warning him that being in a museum would mean he could never be loved again. Woody thinks hard about Buzz's words and decides that he cannot abandon Andy but is prevented from leaving. Buzz and the gang travel to the airport where they successfully rescue Woody as well as Jessie and Bullseye. Following the successful rescue mission, the toys return to Andy's house. In the end, Buzz asks if Woody is still worried about Andy. Woody has accepted that Andy will outgrow him, but replies that he will still have Buzz to take care of him.

In Toy Story 3, Buzz and Woody are still best friends - they, like the rest of Andy's toys have not been played with in years. Buzz attempts to convince a reluctant Woody to go to Sunnyside daycare with the rest of the gang who believe that Andy intended to throw them away - Woody, however, had witnessed Andy attempting to put them in the attic only to accidentally leave them to be thrown out by his mum. When Woody decides to leave daycare, he is upset that Buzz does not wish to do the same to the point that he rejects Buzz's farewell handshake. Later, Woody returns to Sunnyside after hearing his friends are in danger - he helps the other toys to reset Buzz who had been set to his demo mode. Later, the toys land up in the garbage dump where Buzz is set back to normal and relieved to see Woody back with the gang. When the toys reach the incinerator, Woody and Buzz hold hands, believing they are about to die. However, they are rescued and when they return to Andy's house and Woody is about to be taken to college with Andy, Woody and Buzz shake hands, sad to be parting ways. However, Woody has himself and the gang donated to Bonnie - a girl from Sunnyside. The two friends are shown comforting one another when they accept their new lives.

In Toy Story 4, Buzz is shown to comfort Woody when Bonnie is neglecting him during play time. Later, the toys are taken on a road trip, where Buzz offers to help Woody watch over Forky, Bonnie's new toy spork who believes he was made for the trash. When Forky escapes, Woody goes after him. Buzz uses his voice box for guidance - he believe this represents his conscience or inner voice which Woody described to him. Buzz finds Woody and is shocked to find him with their old friend Bo Peep. The three toys work together to rescue Forky. When this fails, Buzz and Bo Peep attempt to convince Woody to return without Forky, but Woody persists as he refuses to leave his friends behind. When Forky returns to the gang without Woody, he tells Buzz that Woody wishes to meet them at the carnival. At the carnival, Woody leaves Bo Peep to return to Bonnie. However, Buzz sees that Woody is doing so with hesitation and eventually shows his friendship for Woody by persuading him to stay with Bo. Before leaving, Woody and Buzz share a brotherly hug, knowing they may never meet again.


Woody and Jessie first meets in Toy Story 2 after Woody is kidnapped by Al McWhiggin who intends to send Woody, Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete to a museum in Japan. When Woody reveals he has an owner and wishes to return to him, Jessie begins to resent Woody. It is eventually revealed that Jessie was left in storage after being abandoned by her old owner - this story convinces Woody to not return to Andy. However, when Buzz arrives and convinces Woody to come home, Jessie is tempted especially when she hears that Andy has a younger sister. In the end, Jessie is shown to be happy that Woody brought her home to Andy.

In Toy Story 3, Jessie continually tries to persuade Woody that their time with Andy is over. When the toys are taken to Sunnyside daycare, Woody and Jessie disagree over the latter's belief that Andy does not want them. After Woody leaves, Jessie is shocked to learn that Andy does in fact want them - when Woody returns to Sunnyside knowing his friends are in trouble, Jessie is overjoyed to see him again. When trying to escape, Jessie is the first to try and rescue Woody when he falls into the dumpster. When the toys survive and return to Andy, Jessie wishes Woody the best at college with Andy whilst Woody becomes worried at how Jessie will cope with life in the attic. Woody instead has himself and the gang donated to Bonnie, much to Jessie's delight.

In Toy Story 4, Woody and Jessie do not interact much, however, she is shown to feel sorry for him when he is being neglected by Bonnie. When Woody goes to rescue Forky when Bonnie takes the toys on a road trip, Jessie continually worries about him and does everything she can to prevent Bonnie and her parents from leaving without him. In the end, Woody decides to stay with Bo Peep and shows his trust in Jessie by handing over his sheriff badge to her, effectively making her the new leader of the toys. Jessie in turn gives Woody a sibling-like hug before the two part ways.

Bo Peep[edit]

Bo Peep is Woody's love interest throughout the series. In Toy Story, she frequently gets his attention by pulling him with her cane. When Buzz becomes Andy's new favorite toy, Bo Peep assures Woody that Andy still loves him. When Buzz is accidentally thrown out of the window, Bo is horrified when the other toys accuse Woody of trying to murder Buzz out of jealousy. She later becomes sad to hear that Woody has also gone missing, still refusing to believe he had intentionally harmed Buzz. However, when the toys see Woody with Buzz's severed arm the next day (Buzz's arm fell off when he tried to fly but Woody used this to pretend to be Buzz when the later refused to shown himself), Bo loses faith in Woody. Nevertheless, she is sad to see how Andy misses Woody, showing she still somewhat believes he did not harm Buzz. Her belief is confirmed when she sees Woody and Buzz trying to catch up with the moving van. By the end of the film, her romantic feelings for Woody are evident when she kisses him under the misletoe at Christmas.

In Toy Story 2, Bo continues to persuade Woody that Andy cares for him and comes close to kissing him whilst saying he is sweet for caring about Andy so much. She is upset when Woody's arm rips and he is placed on the shelf and heartbroken when he is kidnapped. When Buzz enlists a mission to save Woody, Bo gives him a kiss for Woody. At the end of the film, Bo is happy when Woody is back home - the two continue their romantic relationship.

Before Toy Story 3, Bo is given away. Woody is heartbroken over this, evident when her name is mentioned in the list of toys who are no longer with the gang and he reacts sadly.

In Toy Story 4, it is revealed that Bo was sold nine years earlier after helping Woody, Buzz and Jessie to rescue RC. Bo tries to convince Woody to come with her, however, he declines (although initially tempted) when he realises Andy still needs him. During the main events of the film, Woody and Bo are reunited at a carnival where Bo is travelling as a lost toy - the two are delighted to see one another and still harbor romantic feelings. After meeting up with Buzz, Bo helps Woody to rescue Forky. However, the plan fails - when Woody still is determined to rescue Forky, Bo attempts to talk him out of it. An argument nearly causes the two to part ways on bad terms. However, Bo realises that Woody's greatest quality has always been his refusal to leave his friends in danger, which makes her decided to go back to him. In the end, Woody and Bo are about to part ways again. However, with encouragement from Buzz, Woody realises he cannot bare to leave his love again and decides to stay with Bo and help lost toys find owners.


Tom Hanks's vocal performance as Sheriff Woody was received positively by film critics. Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today approved of the selection of Hanks for the lead role of Woody.[8] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times stated that Tom Hanks "brings an invaluable heft and believability to Woody."[9] In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named Woody one of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years.[10]


  1. ^ a b Gomez, Tim (August 2, 2009). "Toy Story's Lee Unkrich Reveals Woody's Last Name". Cinema Blend. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Child, Ben (November 25, 2015). "Evil Gunslinger Woody revealed as Toy Story celebrates 20th birthday". The Guardian. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "Interview With Tom Hanks, Disney's Toy 3 Woody". Archived from the original on June 1, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "Woody". Disney Video. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  5. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (September 15, 2011). Disney Voice Actors: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland. p. 94. ISBN 9780786486946. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Lee Unkrich [@leeunkrich] (August 2, 2009). "Woody's actual full name is "Woody Pride", and has been since the earliest days of developing the original Toy Story" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Jensen Brown, Peter. "The Colorful History and Etymology of 'Pink Elephant'". Early Sports 'n' Pop-Culture History. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan. "Toy Story". USA Today. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  9. ^ Turan, Kenneth (November 22, 1995). "Toy Story". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  10. ^ Adam B. Vary (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 7, 2012.

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