ByBrian Primm, writer at
Trying to write things that seem intelligent. Twitter: @brian_primm
Brian Primm

It's time for the final installment of the Toy Story series. Let's take a look at all the movie references and easter eggs that are found in Toy Story 3. Unfortunately, I'm sad to say that the Airplane! reference didn't survive into this installment, but some others are returning. If you missed my first two installments, you can check out what you missed in Toy Story here, and what you missed in Toy Story 2, here. Now that you're all caught up, let's dive into Toy Story 3.

The Shining

The Shining is making its triumphant return into the Toy Story franchise. As I mentioned in my first post, the director of Toy Story 3 is The Shining superfan, Lee Unkrich. So, of course he had to have a Shining reference. Sid's garbage truck's license plate reads "RM237". Shining fans will recall that this is the room where Jack sees the woman in the bathtub, and Danny is attacked.

Cool Hand Luke

When Buzz puts all of his friends in their crates for the night, Toy Story 3 throws a little nod to Cool Hand Luke. Lots-o tells Buzz to "explain the overnight accommodations." This leads Buzz to go all Cool Hand Luke and explain what warrants a night "in the box."

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

Toy Story referenced Star Wars: A New Hope and Toy Story 2 referenced Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, so it's only fitting that Toy Story 3 would reference Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Big Baby lifts Lots-o over his head and throws him in the trash, much like Darth Vader lifts The Emperor over his head, and throws him down the endless hole.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Barbie has a line that plays on Michael Palin's line in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Palin's line is "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!". Barbie puts a spin on that line when she confronts Lots-o at the dumpster by telling him, "Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from threat of force!"

The Evil Dead

Woody always has to be the hero. He goes back for the Aliens, but Lots-o pops his arm out of the dumpster and drags Woody in, much like being dragged down into the cellar in The Evil Dead.

Ernest Goes to Camp

Jim Varney passed away before Toy Story 3 was released. Varney voiced Slinky Dog for the first two films, but long time friend stepped in to keep the spirit of Varney and Slinky Dog alive. Toy Story 3 throws in a "Golly Bob howdy!" This references Varney's early work as Ernest.

Drugstore Cowboy

As they plan their escape from the caterpillar room, Buzz quotes a line from Drugstore Cowboy. He says, "Did anyone notice the transom?"

A Bug's Life

Atta is the name of the Princess in A Bug's Life. Such royalty should be displayed on the walls.

Mission Impossible

Woody gets to pretend that he's Ethan Hunt when he comes close to hitting the ground, but his pull-string saves him at the last possible second.

My Neighbor Totoro

John Lasseter, who directed the first two Toy Story films and is pretty much the father of Pixar, pays homage to his good friend, Hayao Miyazaki. Totoro shows up in Bonnie's room, and it's a nice way for Lasseter to pay tribute to his friend.

Finding Nemo

Our friend Ray from Finding Nemo shows up on the shelves of Sunnyside Daycare. He can be spotted on the shelves as the new toys get the tour. Unfortunately, Ray isn't leading the tours in this movie, but maybe we will see him again in Finding Dory.


Buy n Large was the major chain store that provided every need in the world of Wall-E. It also looks like they're showing up in Toy Story 3 to begin the process of slowly taking over the world.


Andy has some kind of relationship with Ellie and Carl from Up. He's receiving some kind of letters from them in Toy Story 3. I'd like to think that Andy might have been a part of the Wilderness Explorers as a volunteer, and helped Russell out with getting more badges.


There are a few different references to Cars in this movie. My favorite one is pictured above, with the little boy wearing the Lightning McQueen shirt. Lightning McQueen also shows up as an older version of a toy car, and one of the tractors can be seen laying on the floor as well.

This wraps up the movie references in the Toy Story series. Now, go impress your friends that are easily impressed with your movie knowledge, and tell them all about the great movies referenced in these great movies!


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