What We Learned From Toy Story

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After three tear-inducing films and a couple of hilarious shorts, the toys have a lot of adventures under their belts. That means they also have a lot of wisdom to impart, inspirational, practical, and otherwise.
 

1. You Can Have More Than One Favorite Toy

Toy Story Lessons Woody and Buzz Lightyear
During playtime with Andy, there is a place for everyone: good guys, bad guys, barrels of monkeys, Mr. Evil Dr. Porkchop, and maybe every toy was Andy’s favorite in their own special way. Maybe playtime wouldn’t have been the same without everyone. Maybe we’re not just talking about toys, maybe we’re talking about real life. Maybe we’re talking about friends. Maybe things are getting real metaphorical. Better keep going…
 

2. Teamwork
Toy Story Lessons Slinky Woody Buzz Lightyear
Andy said it himself, this duo is “unstoppable.” The toys had to find their way back to Andy on three separate occasions, and all three times they made it because of teamwork. Remember, there’s no “i” in “toy.”
 

3. Always Keep Extra Batteries Around

Toy Story Lessons Buzz Lightyear

This one isn’t metaphorical. It really is wise to have extra batteries on-hand. (We recommend BNL batteries, of course.)
 

4. Be Flexible, Improvise
Toy Story Lessons Woody
You can never know where the day will take you—maybe you’ll be at a cafe in Paris, or at a tea party with Mrs. Nesbitt. Just stay loose and be ready to go wherever playtime takes you.
 

5. Play With Your Toys

Toy Story Lessons Woody Jessie

No one can say for certain that our toys are alive and eager for our attention. But we also can’t say for certain that they AREN’T, right? So, better play it safe and get in some playtime so that your toys don’t get lonely.
 

6. Don’t Forget To Pack Your “Angry Eyes”

Toy Story Lessons Mr. Potato Head Angry Eyes

You don’t want to have to use them, but it’s nice to have them, just in case.
 

7. Never Underestimate The Little Guys

Toy Story Lessons Green Aliens Claw

The green aliens weren’t the most complex or innovative toys. They didn’t advance many plotlines, and were always easily impressed, “oooOOooooo!” But, when all was said and done, these little guys came to the rescue with their steadfast dedication to their pals and mastery of crane operation.
 

8. Don’t Put The “To Keep” Toys In a Garbage Bag

Toy Story Lessons Sid

This one is also extremely literal. Toys you want to keep go in a box that says “attic,” or a nice storage bin, or better yet, a shelf. Never a garbage bag, otherwise Toy Story 3 hijinks ensue.
 

9. No Toy Left Behind

Toy Story Lessons Woody and Wheezy

Buddy system, guys. We arrived together, we leave together. Never leave a man behind. That’s what the line “you’ve got a friend in me” is all about.
 

10. Don’t Let Them Tell You That You Aren’t a Flying Toy

Toy Story Lessons Buzz Lightyear

That’s a fancy way of saying don’t let anyone keep you from your dreams. True, Buzz was a toy, not a space ranger, but he definitely flew once he put his mind to it.
 

11. Play Nice

Toy Story Lessons Sid

If the scare tactics the toys used on Sid didn’t convince you to treat your toys with respect, then listen to us now. Play nice—you don’t want to end up like this guy.
 

12. Enjoy Every Moment

Toy Story Lessons Woody and AndyToy Story Lessons Woody Andy

Kids grow up. We know, we know: ouch. But, instead of missing the past or anticipating the future, just enjoy the present. Keep in mind what Woody proclaims in Toy Story 2, “I can’t stop Andy from growing up… but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
 

13. Be Yourself

Toy Story Lessons Mini Buzz

Mini Buzz was not fooling anyone in this Toy Story Toon (except for, perhaps, himself). Why be a mini version of someone else when you can be the full-sized version of yourself?
 

14. Clean Your Room

Toy Story Lessons Woody

Otherwise, mom will! And she’ll put the wrong toys in the yard sale box, which might include Wheezy, and then Woody will have to save the day to rescue Wheezy, and risk being taken by an avid toy collector and sold to a children’s museum in Tokyo. SO… just remember to clean your room.
 

15. Stand Up For What You Believe In

Toy Story Lessons Lotso Mrs. Potato Head

We like our potatoes feisty. Look at this picture of Mrs. Potato Head. Just look at her! She, along with the rest of the toys, didn’t like the way Lotso was running Sunnyside, so they hatched a plan and did something about it. The results? A better playtime situation where everyone got to play, all because the toys stood up for what they believed in.
 

16. Donate Your Toys To a Good Home

Toy Story Lessons Sunnyside

Though it pained us all to watch Andy hand his toys over to Bonnie, we were also so very happy that they’d now get to play again! And with such a sweet and imaginative kid! So be sure that your toys find a safe and fun home because…
 

17. Toys Don’t Belong On a Shelf

Toy Story Lessons Woody Memorabilia

In Toy Story 2, Woody came so close to going to the Konishi Toy Museum in Tokyo, he had us screaming at the movie screen “No! Don’t do it!” Toys aren’t meant for a life behind glass, which he luckily realized by the end of the film, just in time to make it back to Andy, yet again. Whew.
 

18. Don’t Hold a Grudge

Toy Story Lessons Lotso Buzz Lightyear

Lotso was one bitter bear, but we’re not going to say that his grudge was totally unfounded. He had his little teddy bear heart broken, and that’s a fact. But, he got another shot at playtime at Sunnyside, which would have been great had he not adopted his “no owners means no heartbreak!” slogan. If you think about it, Lotso and Jessie are two peas in a pod, except Jessie kept her heart open to a new owner, and look how happy she was! (This one got a bit metaphorical too.)
 

19. You’re Braver Than You Think

Toy Story Lessons Rex

At every turn, Rex is filled with anxiety or nervous for the unknown. But he also helped rescue Woody, crossed a busy street, survived playtime at Sunnyside, not to mention he really knows how to party. Remember, being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared, it means you’re scared but go for it anyway.
 

20. Be a Friend

Toy Story Lessons Woody and Buzz Lightyear

No matter where the toys ended up–Sunnyside, the attic, or Bonnie’s house–they knew they’d be okay because they’d have each other. We’re even getting ourselves all choked-up at this point. The point is, if you’re a good friend, you’ll always have friends to back you up and be the Buzz to your Woody or the Bullseye to your Jessie.

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