A Wild Theory About Toy Story’s Most Hated Character

A Wild Theory About Toy Story’s Most Hated Character

After finishing the first Toy Story, I wouldn’t blame anyone for having zero sympathy for Sid Phillips, Andy’s mean next-door neighbour. Sid tortures his toys and makes them into things resembling abominations, for crying out loud.But what if we got this character all wrong?

What if Sid reformed his ways, and became someone nobler?

The idea isn’t so outlandish. Consider the ending of Toy Story 1, where Woody and the gang reveal to Sid that all his toys are actually ‘alive.’ Here’s the scene, in case you need a refresher:

Something like that would mess a kid up, right? Later on, when Pixar shows us Sid as a garbageman in Toy Story 3, it’s easy to laugh at the cameo without giving it a second thought.

But what if there was a reason that Sid picked up being a garbageman? This weekend, a great fan theory was written up by Reddit user londongarbageman, where they explain an alternate reading of Sid’s appearance in Toy Story 3:

In Toy Story 1 Sid is confronted with horrifying revelation that his toys are alive. 15 years later in Toy Story 3 we see that Sid has become the local Garbageman.

Now being a garbageman has one of the biggest perks that you may not have realised. We find things. Lots of things.

I even found a 42 gal trash bag full of Lego

Sometrash picked Nerf collection

I don’t have a picture of the matchbox cars I’ve found because there’s just too damn many. Here’s some monster trucks

And don’t even let me start on the Barbies.

Now, let’s imagine you’re a guy who just learned that inanimate objects are alive. What job would you get? Sid isn’t fucked up and working a crappy job. He’s trying to save them. He is trying to save the toys.

He picked the one kind of job where you can rescue those things.

And Sid is uniquely equipped to fix those toys that he finds that are broken. He’s pretty damn creative.

There is some tenuous evidence that can back this theory up. Sid isn’t re-introduced in Toy Story 3 as some villainous character. Actually, he seems like a pretty cool guy that likes his job:

Plus, the theory makes sense. Looking back at Sid in Toy Story 1, I don’t think he’s evil or beyond reform. Hell, it would be easy to read Sid as someone who is just misunderstood. After the scare he gets at the end of the movie, it’s easy to see why Sid might consider being a better person, and putting his creative talents to good use. If nothing else, he knows that the toys are watching — so either out of paranoia, or because of a change of heart, he has plenty of reason to try to start fixing toys after he collects them as a garbageman.

Obviously, though, this is just a theory. As much as I like it and think it might as well be canon, I’m curious: does this idea seem convincing to you?

And if this interests you, be sure to check out some other awesome fan theories about Toy Story and Pixar Movies.


  • In the commentary track for the first Toy Story, all of the writers bar John Lasseter were sympathetic to Sid. They thought that the general destructive acts he did were a part of growing up and even shared a few Sid-esque tales from their own childhood.

    • This. I don’t think he was an evil character. He might be a little on the ADD side of hyper – maybe – but I don’t think there was anything especially malicious or sociopathic about him. He’s just a notch or two above any preteen boy… and perhaps just a tad undersupervised by parents.

      • I watched the first Toy Story again just last week, and I came to a very similar conclusion.

        It’s like he’s outgrown his interest in playing with those toys in the traditional way, he just hasn’t realised it yet.

  • It’s hopeful, but in this scene he doesn’t try to save anything, or look through the garbage, leading to the toys going to the furnace, right?

  • Actually, he seems like a pretty cool guy that likes his job:So do many sociopaths. An alternate theory could be that finding out toys are alive pushed him over the edge so he took up a job as a Garbageman because it allows him to engage in corpse harvesting to create newer, more bizarre and twisted creations.

  • I wouldn’t blame anyone for having zero sympathy for Sid Phillips

    I would. He’s just a kid with obvious developmental and social problems.

    • I don’t even think he particularly even showed those. What did we really see? A kid into metal and ‘boy things’ who mixes and matches his toys and plays with fireworks and the odd fire. Sounds like most boy scouts! 😉 But seriously, he just seemed, well, like a kid. The toys may be terrified, but he has no reason (Before the linked seen) to ever, remotely, think this was hurting anyone.

  • Be nice to garbagemen. The stigma associated with this job is undeserved. Modern civilization would probably collapse within a month or two of their absence.

    • Remember New York a few years ago during the strikes? It looked pretty horrendous.

      Also be nice to teachers and nurses. Just because they want to do these jobs and no one else does doesn’t mean we should under pay and over work them.

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