Sad Toy Story Dad Theory Changes Andy’s Relationship With Buzz & Woody

Through his relationship with Woody and Buzz, Toy Story may have been explaining where Andy’s dad was all along. Released in 1995, Toy Story centered on a group of toys that came to life whenever their owner, Andy Davis, was not present. Andy’s favorite toy had always been Woody, an old-fashioned, pull-string cowboy doll. However, Woody struggled to adjust when Andy got a new space ranger action figure, Buzz Lightyear, who immediately began to overshadow him. Due to Woody’s jealousy, both toys were separated from Andy and had to find their way back to him before his family moved to a new house.


Despite Woody and Buzz’s relationship being the focus of the film, one of the most common questions surrounding Toy Story was the location of Andy’s dad. Although Andy lived with his mother and younger sister, Molly, none of the Toy Story films mentioned his dad. Due to this, viewers have created a variety of theories to explain the absence of Andy’s dad. These range from Andy’s dad dying shortly after Molly was born to him being away for military service.

While there is no definite answer, many argue that Andy’s parents must have been divorced. Following this line of thought, one theory (via Reddit) holds that Toy Story is a metaphor for Andy’s mom remarrying. In this way, Toy Story represents the conflict between the first (Woody) and second (Buzz) husbands of Andy’s mom as they both care for Andy. This not only explains why Andy’s dad is not in any of the Toy Story movies, but deepens the relationship between Andy and his toys.

Toy Story Is A Metaphor Of Andy Getting A New Dad – Theory Explained

According to this theory, Woody and Buzz symbolized Andy’s dad and potential stepfather competing for his love. Woody represented Andy’s biological father, who Andy loved but was often wandering the world on his own adventures, like a cowboy, rather than being at home with his family. In contrast, Buzz was Andy’s mom’s cool, new fiancé, who quickly captured all of Andy’s attention. Similar to Woody being jealous over Buzz becoming Andy’s new favorite toy, Andy’s dad would have been upset when another man entered Andy’s life and began replacing him as a father figure. However, the two dads eventually realized that they needed to stop arguing and get along for Andy’s benefit. Otherwise, they both risked missing being a part of Andy’s life. Toy Story depicted this when Woody and Buzz finally began working together to escape Sid’s house and return to Andy before he moved away where they could not find him.

How Toy Story’s New Dad Theory Changes Andy’s Dynamic With Buzz & Woody

In addition, this theory better develops Andy’s relationship with Woody and Buzz, explaining why he still loved both toys at the end of Toy Story. When Andy received Buzz as a birthday present, the new action figure immediately took his focus away from his older toys, like Woody. However, Andy never threw Woody away, even making sure to repair his torn arm in Toy Story 2. Ultimately, Andy found a way to balance his love for both Woody and Buzz as his two favorite toys. Similarly, Andy’s stepfather may have become the center of Andy’s attention when he first met him, but Andy would not have forgotten about his biological father. He instead would have loved both of his father figures.

This theory could also extend to both of the Toy Story sequels that feature Andy as the toys’ owner. In Toy Story 2, Woody had the option to become a display item in a museum in Japan. While this seemed like a great opportunity, it also meant permanently leaving Andy. Due to his love for his child, and Buzz’s encouragement, Woody decided to return home to be with Andy. This could be a metaphor for Andy’s dad receiving a new job opportunity that would require him to move away. Although he initially considered accepting the offer, he eventually decided to stay close to Andy, so he could continue being part of his son’s life. Similarly, Toy Story 3 featured both Woody and Buzz struggling with Andy growing up and going to college. Although they had always been there for him, Andy no longer needed his toys, and they had to let him go. During this time, Andy’s dads would have been feeling the same way. They had done their best to raise Andy and now had to adjust to him leaving home. While Toy Story never explained why Andy’s dad was not present, it is possible that the film was hinting at his mom’s remarriage through Woody and Buzz’s relationship with Andy.

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