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18 Life Lessons Learned from ‘Toy Story’

Later this month, the Toy Story movie franchise leaves its childhood behind — the original Toy Story movie turns 18 on November 22nd. Welcome to adulthood, Toy Story!

Over the last 18 years we’ve all learned important life lessons while watching Toy Story grow from a small cast of characters within the walls of Andy’s room to include friends (and enemies) at Sunnyside and beyond. If you’re like me, I’m sure you’re still wondering what those toys are up to, how they’re adjusting to their new home, and how Andy’s doing in college.

Toy Story has become a part of our lives during these 18 years. While the list of lessons learned from Toy Story could reach to infinity … and beyond! Here are my favorite 18 life lessons learned from Toy Story.

  • 18 Life Lessons Learned From Toy Story 1 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned From Toy Story

    The lessons you can learn from 18 years of Toy Story are infinity, I mean ... infinite., but here are 18 of my favorites.

  • Believe in Who You Are 2 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    What Buzz taught us early in the Toy Story saga was to believe in who you are -- no matter what the people around you say. When Buzz first arrived in Andy's room in the first Toy Story installment, he truly believed that he was sent on a mission to save the planet. Those little red lights were lasers. That jet pack with wings meant that he could fly. Because Buzz believed in himself, he ended up proving everyone wrong and flying in the end!

  • Make New Friends and Keep the Old 3 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    It's okay to have more than one friend! And it's okay to have more than one favorite. The Toy Story crew taught us that more friends means more fun. Woody and the gang started their Toy Story adventure nervous and afraid about the new toys entering their lives. By the end of the third movie, they had not only welcomed new friends to their crew, but were also eager to meet the toys already living in their new home.

  • Respect Everyone’s Beliefs 4 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    The claw is our master.... live and let live! Sure, it might have been easy for the Toy Story gang to roll their eyes at the aliens from Pizza Planet, but in the end, it was the  aliens - and that claw! - who saved the day.

  • Everyone Has Baggage and That’s Okay 5 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    Everything changed when we found out about poor Jessie's past and the girl who used to love her. Jessie kept her guard up around Woody and the others for a reason. It's tough to get close to other toys, um, people when you've been let down and hurt in the past. Remember that we've all got a little Jessie in us, and need people to cut us some slack now and again.

  • Surround Yourself with True Friends 6 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    When you're in the thick of it and you can't find a way out, you're going to want your closest pals at your side. Through the good times and the bad, Woody, Buzz, and the gang stuck together. They showed us the power of not only being there for friends when things are going well, but also staying close to support one another in times of crisis.

  • Be There for Friends in Need 7 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    No toy left behind! You don't ever leave a friend behind. You just don't. There were many times throughout the Toy Story series when it would have been easier for the gang to leave a toy or two behind. From their run-ins with Sid to their adventures at the airport, the toys stuck together and made sure that no toy was left behind.

  • Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Sidekick (and trusty steed) 8 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    It's so important to have someone with whom you just click. Your compadre. Your brother from another mother. Your wingman. Your sidekick. If you can add a trusty steed? Even better! We all loved the odd couple pairing of Woody and Buzz in Toy Story, but it was so much fun to see Woody in his element in Toy Story 2 with Jessie and Bullseye. It's important to find your sidekick in life!

  • Sometimes You Need to Pack Your Angry Eyes 9 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    Life isn't always going to be smooth sailing. For certain occasions, it's important that you've packed your angry eyes. The normally positive and happy Mrs. Potato Head reminded us that when you go into battle to make a wrong right, you've got to be prepared. And that means it's okay to pack your angry eyes!

  • Bad Karma is Real 10 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    Watching Sid get what was coming to him secured my belief in bad karma. After a childhood filled with destroying and torturing toys, they take their turn giving it back to him in one of my favorite parts of the entire Toy Story series.

  • Good Karma is Real, Too 11 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    The love of the Mr. and Mrs. 'Tater being repaid by the alien trio is what saved the entire crew in their most harrowing moment. It's important to take time to do good things for others! That good will come back to you.

  • Don’t Always Believe the Packaging 12 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    We've all been taught to never judge a book by its cover, and we learned that again the hard way in Toy Story 2. "New in Box" didn't turn out to be so real, now did it, Prospector? Sometimes what seems to be shiny and new is really the hidden enemy!

  • Reinvent Yourself from Time to Time 13 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    The last thing you want is a boring life. Don't be afraid to add a little spice to your life and try new things now and again. Some other toys may have struggle to transition when changed from their English to their Spanish settings, but not Buzz. He embraced the change and lived a muy caliente life throughout Toy Story 3.

  • Always Have a Plan 14 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    Sketch it out. Think it through. Knowing your plan can get you through even the toughest challenges. Time and time again we watched the Toy Story gang come together with the help of Etch A Sketch and Speak and Spell to formulate a plan to save the day. What a great life lesson on the power of planning!

  • Sometimes Babies are Scary 15 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    They just can be. The poop, the crying, the "Ma ma, Ma ma, Ma ma..." like they're coming down the hallway in The Shining to get to you. *SHIVER* It's hard to believe that one of the scariest characters in Toy Story 3 is a doll baby named Big Baby, but once you've become a parent and have been woken up every 3 hours for months on end, you, too, will understand the truth in this life lesson.

  • Know Your Strengths 16 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    Rex may have stubby little arms, but he contributed to the team efforts to keep his friends safe! The trick is just knowing what you do well rather than focusing on your weaknesses.

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Show How You Feel 17 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    If you love someone, let them know. Heck, write your name on their boot and tell the whole world. One of Toy Story's greatest lessons came through the powerful relationship between a boy and his toys. He loved each and every one of his toys and thanked them for the joy they brought to his life by caring for them, even writing his name on them to claim them as his own.

  • Know When to Hold On 18 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    You've got to hold tight to the ones you love... No boy ever loved his toys as much as Andy did.

  • Know When to Let Go 19 of 19
    18 Life Lessons Learned from Toy Story

    ...and be able to let them go when the time comes. And no boy ever loved them more than Andy did in that moment when he was able to let them go.

Read more about Amy’s Disney experiences at Resourceful Mommy.
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