Andy, now 17 years old, is about to leave for college, and his toys have not been played with for years. He intends to take only Woody with him to college, and puts Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and the other toys in a bag to be stored in the attic. Andy's mother mistakenly takes the bag to the curb for garbage pickup. The toys escape and, believing Andy intended to throw them away, decide to climb in a donation box with Barbie bound for Sunnyside Daycare. Woody follows them and tries to explain the mistake, but they refuse to believe him.
Andy's toys are welcomed by the other toys at Sunnyside, and are given a tour of the seemingly perfect play-setting by Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (simply known as Lotso), Big Baby, and Ken, with whom Barbie falls in love. All of the toys choose to stay, except Woody, who attempts to return to Andy. Woody is found by Bonnie, one of the Sunnyside students. She takes Woody home and plays with him along with her other toys, which are well-treated. At Sunnyside, a group of toddlers play rough with Andy's toys.
Buzz asks Lotso to have them moved to the older children's room, but is captured. Lotso, who controls Sunnyside with an iron fist at night when the teachers and students are not around, reveals he sends new toys to distract the toddlers to keep him and his henchmen safe, not caring whether the toys are broken in the process. Seeing promise in Buzz, he resets him to his original space ranger persona, resetting his memory. At the same time, Mrs. Gourd Head (who accidentally left one of her eyes at Andy's house) sees Andy searching for the toys and convinces the toys that Woody told the truth. But before they can leave, Andy's toys are imprisoned by Lotso's gang.
At Bonnie's house, before Woody leaves to find Andy, he learns from a toy clown named Chuckles that he, Lotso and Big Baby once had a beloved owner named Daisy. When the toys were accidentally left behind by Daisy's family during a trip, they eventually returned to her house, only to find that Lotso had been replaced with a similar toy, causing Lotso to become embittered.
The truck deposits the toys at the tri-county landfill, where they find themselves on a conveyor belt leading to an incinerator. Woody and Buzz help Lotso reach an emergency stop button, only for Lotso to abandon them. Thinking that the end is near, the toys accept their fate, but are rescued by the Aliens operating an industrial claw. Lotso escapes, but a garbage truck driver finds him and straps him to his truck's radiator grill. Woody and his friends board another garbage truck, driven by a now adult Sid Phillips, back to Andy's house. Woody returns to Sunnyside and reconciles with Andy's other toys. That night, the toys attempt to escape, and accidentally reset Buzz to Spanish mode instead of his original persona. Buzz allies himself with Woody and falls in love with Jessie. The toys reach a dumpster, but are caught by Lotso and his gang. As a garbage truck approaches, Woody reveals what he learned about Lotso. Lotso says that he now thinks toys are meant to be discarded, leading an enraged Big Baby to throw Lotso into the dumpster. Lotso pulls Woody into the dumpster just as the truck collects the trash. Woody's friends fall into the back of the truck while trying to rescue him, and a falling television lands on Buzz, restoring his memory and normal persona.
In Andy's room, Woody climbs into the box with Andy's college supplies, while the other toys ready themselves for the attic. Woody leaves a note for Andy and Andy, thinking the note is from his mother, takes them to Bonnie's house and introduces her to his old toys. Bonnie recognizes Woody who, to Andy's surprise, is at the bottom of the box. Though hesitant at first, Andy passes him on to Bonnie, and then plays with her before leaving. Woody and the other toys watch Andy's departure before beginning their new lives with Bonnie.
- VeggieTales Theme Song
- We Belong Together
- You and You Alone
- Where Have All the Staplers Gone? (from Pistachio)
- Precious Child
- He Cares for You
- Rock On, Lightyear!
- Hope's Song (in the credits, from An Easter Carol)
What We Have Learned songEdit
Kid They Got a Letter FromEdit
- This episode felt like it was animated between "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella", and "Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving". This also took place before the countertop's redesign.
- The Silly Song is reused from "Pistachio".
- This episode uses a portion of the footage from Pistachio.
- The fact that it was released in 2010 was a coincidence since the original Toy Story 3 came out the same year.
- This is a lesson in handling hurt, as well as remembrance.
- "Hope's Song" is sung in the credits.
- Four songs are sung again. They are:
- "You and You Alone" from "Pistachio"
- "Banished!" from "Sweetpea Beauty"
- "Precious Child" from "It's a Meaningful Life"
- "He Cares for You" from "Robin Good and His Not-So Merry Men"
- "Rock On, Lightyear!" sounds similar to "Rock On, LarryBoy".
- Tim Hodge wasn't credited for voicing Sid Philips in this.
- Mr. Gourd Head feels a sense of deja vu, as the following exchange happens:
- Buzz: What is that smell?
- Lotso: It's the smell of payback!
- Woody: No, it smells worse than that.
- After "Rock On, Lightyear!" played, Mr. Gourd Head, Hamm, Rex and Woody got into an argument about liking the two sequels and not liking it.
- Larry the Cucumber as Sheriff Woody
- Bob the Tomato as Buzz Lightyear
- Petunia Rhubarb as Jessie
- Zippy the Buffalo as Bullseye
- Mr. Lunt as Mr. Gourd Head
- Haman as Eyeless Bart
- Ellen as Mrs. Gourd Head
- The French Peas as the Squeeze Toy Aliens
- Jimmy Gourd as Hamm
- Mr. Sly as Evil Dr. Porkchop
- Jerry Gourd as Rex
- Pa Grape as Sarge
- Laura Carrot as Bonnie
- Mirabelle as Barbie
- Finnegan J. Beet III as Ken
- Bruce Onion as Lotso
- Junior Asparagus as Andy
- Ermie Asparagus as Molly
- Archibald Asparagus as Slinky Dog