Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl (better known simply as Jessie) is a major character in the Toy Story series, first appearing in Toy Story 2. She is a vintage pull string cowgirl toy from the 1950s and a former member of Woody's Roundup Gang.
At first, Jessie only intends to be collectible and dislikes the fact that Woody has an owner, Andy, and a space toy friend, Buzz, but when the cowboy and space ranger rescue Jessie from the plane bound for Japan, she accepts her true purpose: to be played with.
Jessie is a friendly, excitable cowgirl doll. She likes being loved by any child and has the power to yodel. She hates being in storage ― as it makes her claustrophobic ― and not having someone to love her. A girl named Emily had once loved her until she gave her up and put her in a charity box, which emotionally scarred Jessie forever.
Jessie is a lanky plastic doll. She has green eyes, hair made from red yarn with a ponytail in braids and a yellow ribbon that has tied to the bottom of her ponytail, pink lips, rosy cheeks, auburn eyebrows, small nose white long-sleeved western-style shirt with both yellow blouse and cuffs that have red doodles, blue jeans, a belt made from brown plastic with a buckle made from gold plastic, white chaps that have cow spots all over, cowgirl boots made from brown plastic, a cowgirl hat made from crimson plastic, and a pull string on her back with a white loop attached to it.
In Toy Story 2, she is the second toy that Woody meets in Al McWhiggin's apartment after Bullseye and before Stinky Pete the Prospector. She is sassy, sweet, cute, athletic, and has a habit of yodeling when happy or excited. They reveal to Woody that he is a vintage Sheriff Woody collectible doll and the star of a forgotten children's TV show, Woody's Roundup. After watching an episode of when Woody has to save her and Pete being trapped in an abandoned mine & Pete accidentally lit a stick of dynamite thinking it was a candle, she turns it off, and Pete tells Woody that the show was canceled after the launch of Sputnik 1 led children to become more interested in Space Toys. When they revealed that they're going to the Konishi Toy Museum in Tokyo, Japan, Woody refuses to go since he still has an owner and has no intention of going there with the Roundup Gang. Jessie begins to hyperventilate for fear that she'll go back into storage again. She then begins to mock Woody for still having an owner. When Al went back to his apartment with his camera and placing the toys, Woody's arm was ripped when the string was caught.
That night, after Woody's attempt to retrieve his ripped-off arm is foiled when the TV suddenly turned on, causing Al to wake up and put Woody back in his case. Woody blames Jessie of turning on the TV, to which Jessie responds by fighting Woody. The Prospector breaks up the fight, and Jessie still feels bitter about Woody caring only about Andy. The next day, after Woody's arm, has been fixed, Jessie sarcastically lets Woody leave, but the Prospector convinces Woody to speak with Jessie to make amends. When Woody talks to Jessie, she tells him the story about Emily (seen during the "When She Loved Me" musical sequence), a little girl that had been her owner. Throughout her years as Emily's toy, Jessie has enjoyed being played with, such as being taken for a horseback riding, a drive in her car, and a swing on a tire. However, years have passed, and Emily has found more mature activities to do, forgetting about Jessie until finding her under the bed one day. Jessie had spent one more time in the car with Emily, only for Emily to place her in a charity box, leaving her shocked and heartbroken that she has been given away. Being in a box for a long period of time, Jessie has developed claustrophobia. After hearing that story, she said that "you never forget kids like Emily and Andy, but they forget you". Woody felt sorry for Jessie, but she tells him to go, but with more of the Prospector's convincing, Woody, thinking that the same fate will happen to him as Andy grows up, warms up to the idea of going to the museum, and Jessie's feelings of bitterness and sadness brightens up to happiness and excitement. Later that day, they have a little fun by making a show with Woody, who accidentally falls off Bullseye, then Jessie tries to help, but soon tickles him after he stated that he is ticklish.
Woody's friends, Buzz, Potato Head, Slinky Dog, and Hamm, burst through the air vent using Rex's head. Slink ties Jessie & Bullseye so they can escape with Woody, but they were stopped by Andy's Buzz, which the other one was a Utility Belt Buzz from Al's Toy Barn. Woody refuses to go back to Andy & his friends left. But after watching a video of him singing "You Got a Friend in Me" on the TV, Woody decides to go back to Andy so he wouldn't miss him growing up, but not until offering to take the Roundup gang with him back to Andy's house after having a change of heart and deciding to go back to Andy's room with Buzz and the other toys. Jessie initially feels uncertain, but Stinky Pete, now showing his true colors, locks them in Al's apartment. He even turned off the TV revealing that last night, he turned it on and framed Jessie. Woody and Jessie try to stand up to the Prospector, but they learn that the Prospector has never been sold from a dime store shelf, which makes him feel more determined to get himself and the others to Japan, where he believes he will finally be appreciated. Al started to come & Jessie, Bullseye & Woody were packed up to be taken with Al to the airport.
At the airport, Buzz and the toys save Woody and get rid of the evil Prospector, but are unable to free Jessie from the case, despite Bullseye being able to escape, as the case gets loaded into a plane bound for Japan. Woody whistles for Bullseye, whom he and Buzz mount and gallop across the airfield to rescue Jessie.
Woody, after being separated from Buzz again, follows the case into the plane's cargo hold. There, Woody again offers to take Jessie back to Andy's house. She initially fears that Andy will not like her, but Woody tells her that it will not be so bad because Andy has a little sister. Excited, she agrees to go with Woody, and the other toys, but the doors close and get trapped in the plane. Finding another escape route, they exit the plane. But Woody slips, prompting Jessie to grab hold of Woody's arm. Using his pull-string, Woody and Jessie swing down from the plane and land on Bullseye right behind Buzz, finally completing the mission just seconds before the plane takes off. As they celebrate their success, Jessie describes Woody rescuing her as "Woody's finest hour".
Back at Andy's room, when Andy comes home from Cowboy Camp, he is pleased to see Jessie and Bullseye added into his toy collection, calling them Bazooka Jane and her jet-propelled horse. With Andy's name printed on the bottom of her boot, Jessie is overjoyed to feel appreciated again. Buzz clearly, but nervously, develops a crush on her and the two enter a relationship somewhat similar to the way Woody and Bo Peep have done before Jessie shows off as she uses the Hot Wheels car and track to reach the doorknob to open it and let Buster out to use the bathroom. The two couples are seen standing together as they enjoy watching a newly-fixed Wheezy sing "You've Got a Friend in Me".
In Toy Story 3, she is first shown in an opening sequence taking place in the Wild West. When Woody is knocked off the train by bandits One-Eyed Bart and Betty (Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head's characters, respectively), Woody is seen riding on Bullseye behind Jessie as they chase after the train. After Bart explodes a railroad bridge and escapes with One-Eyed Betty and their stolen loot on a Corvette that the Aliens are driving, Jessie and Woody rush over to stop the train to save the orphans aboard. Woody jumps into the locomotive and pulls on the brakes, but the train goes off the bridge and into a ravine, leaving Jessie to assume that Woody has died, along with the orphans. But then, to Jessie's surprise, the train shoots out of the ravine, lifted up by Buzz. Woody, Buzz, and Jessie then attempt to stop the criminals, but they are interrupted by a spaceship controlled by Evil Dr. Porkchop (Hamm's character), who warps the criminals back into the spaceship and executes Death by Monkeys to capture the three heroes. As One-Eyed Bart prepares to finish them off, the scene cuts to Andy's room, revealing that the sequence has actually taken place in Andy's imagination.
During the main events of the film, Jessie continues to have fond affections toward Buzz. When Andy attempts to put her and the other toys in the attic, she and the others do not realize that his mom accidentally threw them out and refused to listen to Woody. To keep herself from reliving the trauma life she had when thrown out by Emily, she convinces the other toys to go to Sunnyside Daycare.
She is excited to learn that the children at Sunnyside are replaced with new children when they get older, meaning that they will always be played with no matter what. She tries to convince Woody into staying, but he turns down the offer and calls her 'selfish', leaving to go back to Andy alone. This hurts Jessie. After recess ends, she and the other toys realize that they have been put in a room where the children that, roughly but innocently, abuse them and are too young to even handle them. Later, after Buzz disappears to talk to Lotso, Mrs. Potato Head sees Andy with the eye that she left in Andy's room. Jessie and the other toys realize that Woody was right, that Andy still wanted them. They decide to return home to Andy but are imprisoned by Lotso, who had Buzz reprogrammed and think that he is a space ranger again, turning him against them. Buzz sets down the prison standards, and in order to make sure they obey them, Lotso gives them Woody's hat (which he left behind). This causes Jessie and the others to believe Lotso killed Woody.
The next morning, Jessie and Bullseye are the ones who have been mourning Woody's apparent "death". Jessie also appeared to be mourning greatly as she felt her decisions had cost both Buzz and Woody. When Woody returns to rescue them, after hearing a sad story about Sunnyside and Lotso by one of Bonnie's toys named Chuckles, Jessie and the others are super happy to see that he's still alive and give him his hat. Jessie apologizes for not listening and Woody apologizes for leaving. They make a plan to escape and Jessie is soon reunited with Buzz, who had been reset to the Spanish mode of his space ranger self; a romantic version of Buzz who is far more outspoken about his feelings for Jessie, the reset had temporarily erased his memories. At first, she is uncomfortable with the change but finds that she also rather likes this romantic version, too.
When they get stuck in a garbage truck, Buzz saves Jessie but is soon flattened by a television. Thinking that he is dead, she starts to despair but Buzz reawakens to his normal self, not remembering a thing that happened prior to being set to Demo mode and Spanish mode. They soon fall into a landfill and end up falling down an incinerator. As they accept their fate of doom, they are saved by the squeeze-toy aliens, who had run off to the "claw", with the giant "Claw".
They all return to Andy's house and with Woody's intervention, are donated to Bonnie, the girl that found Woody outside of Sunnyside. Jessie and the others are all played with by Andy one last time and quickly adjusts to her new life with Bonnie. Towards the very end, she takes advantage of Buzz's new Spanish side and they dance together to "Hay Un Amigo En Mi" (the Spanish version of "You've Got a Friend in Me").
Jessie returns in the fourth film, albeit with a slightly smaller role. In a flashback nine years prior to the fourth film, she is seen looking out Andy's window as a storm approaches. Andy walks in from the storm and dumps the gang on to his bed as he heads downstairs for dinner. The gang is in a panic because of RC being left outside in the rain and stuck in a gutter. She accompanies Woody, Buzz, and Slinky Dog to Molly's room where they meet with Bo Peep and Molly's other toys. They then perform "Operation Pull Toy", where Jessie, with the help of the Barbies, is catapulted to the window to unlock it and have Woody climb down using Slinky to rescue RC. Woody succeeds but is left outside as he watches in horror as Andy's mother puts his girlfriend Bo and her sheep into a box for a man who wants to buy them. It can be assumed that Jessie and the rest of the gang were saddened by her departure as they didn't get a chance to say goodbye to her.
Nine years later, Jessie now lives with the rest of the toys with Bonnie being their new owner. She, along with many of the other toys, is played with more prominently than Woody, who Bonnie neglects, Bonnie grabs Woody's badge off of him and pins it on Jessie instead during playtime. After Woody sneaks into Bonnie's backpack to keep an eye on her during kindergarten orientation, Bonnie creates a literal "new friend" that she names Forky, created out of trash Woody fetched out from the garbage. Like the rest of the gang, Jessie is both confused and shocked by not only Forky's existence but also his love of trash. She is excited, however, by the road trip Bonnie and her family are going on.
During the road trip one night, Forky sneaks out of Bonnie's hands while she's asleep and jumps out the window of the RV, claiming that he is not a toy. Woody tells the gang that he is going after him and that they will meet them at the carnival the RV is heading to.
The next morning, Jessie, Buzz, and the rest of the toys put a regular spoon in Bonnie's hand to substitute Forky, but to no avail, as Bonnie is distraught she has lost her favorite toy. She says that they must find Woody and Forky, and as the group discusses what Woody would do, Buzz volunteers to go after him, after listening to his "inner voice", AKA, his voice box, while the gang watches out for Bonnie.
Later, Bonnie's father is about to leave the carnival with Woody, Forky, and Buzz still out there. Jessie then hops out of the window and under the RV where she pops a tire with a nail to buy her friends some time, much to the group's happiness.
When Buzz return to the RV, Jessie was told about the plan he had to get Forky and Woody back to the RV. When Forky return and was told about a meeting spot that Woody picked at the carnival, Jessie helps out in the plan to get the RV to the carnvial so Woody can join back up with them. After successfully buying time, Jessie and her freinds go on top of the RV where she notice a familiar toy with Woody. Coming closer towards them, Jessie realizes that its her old friend Bo Peep with Woody then happily gave her a big hug. When Woody, who decided to have her lead the group, gave her his sheriff badge, Jessie realizes that one of her closest friends decided to stay with Bo Peep to help other toys and kids in the world which she understood then was the first to hug him goodbye. After the rest of their friends hug him goodbye, Jessie with her group part ways with Woody and Bo Peep.
In a post-credit scene set a year later, Jessie (now Bonnie's new favorite toy and presumably the new leader of the gang) returns from Bonnie's first day of first grade with another surprise: Bonnie made another friend named "Knifey", a female toy made from a plastic knife and suffers the exact problem as Forky, much to the spork's happiness.
Jessie returns in the special as the protagonist. During a road trip, she is reminded of her traumatizing years in storage after she gets trapped in a small toolbox. They stay in a motel for the night with the Andersons. When her friends are stolen by the motel's owner along with some other toys, it's up to her to save them from being shipped to a toy collector and to do that, she must face her claustrophobia.
Jessie appears in Disney INFINITY as a playable character. She is part of the Toy Story in Space Play Set along with Buzz.
Woody and Jessie share a sibling-like relationship. Since meeting each other in Al's penthouse, the two share a close bond. The two are shown to have pretty heated arguments from time to time, but they deeply care for each other nonetheless.
Both Bullseye and Jessie bonded when they were in storage for an unknown number of years. Since then, the two have been inseparable.
Her romantic relationship with Buzz was only hinted at the end of Toy Story 2 when Buzz became instantly lovestruck with her looks and her adventurous personality. In Toy Story 3, their relationship hadn't evolved much since Toy Story 2, but it's shown that Jessie is fond of Buzz, and he is protective of her. While the film progress, Jessie becomes attracted to Buzz because of his Spanish mode. After Lotso leaves the toys to die, Buzz grabs Jessie's hand. After the aliens save them, Buzz is still holding Jessie's hand. At the end of Toy Story 3, the two finally seal their relationship, with Jessie taking the initiative for the two to dance an exciting pasodoble.
- Jessie seems to be scared of going in cases. In Toy Story 2, it is revealed she has claustrophobia, a fear of which she gets over in Toy Story of Terror.
- Jessie's claustrophobia is basically post-traumatic stress disorder as being abandoned in a box and in storage for so long traumatized her.
- Given that other toys were not seen in Jessie's flashback, it is implied that she was Emily's only toy, which is possibly another reason for her fears.
- It is unknown how many sayings Jessie has by pulling her pull string, but in the series it can be assumed she can say nine like Woody and Stinky Pete, including her trademark yodel.
- When Jessie first meets Woody, she exclaims, "Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln!" Abraham Lincoln's mother was Nancy Hanks, a blood relative of Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks is a direct descendant of an uncle of Nancy Hanks.
- When Jessie fights Woody after he accuses her of turning on the TV, Jessie's position (pinning Woody on the ground, foot on his back, pulling his arms back) is the same as Buzz's when he fights Woody underneath Andy's car at the gas station in Toy Story.
- Jessie outgrowing her owner in a flashback is very similar to when Buzz discovers that he's just a toy in Toy Story.
- John Lasseter's wife Nancy suggested that in Toy Story 2 that there should be a strong female character, which soon led to the creation of Jessie.
- Jessie was originally going to be a cactus called Señorita Cactus, but it was decided later on that she would be a cowgirl.
- A Jessie doll makes a cameo in Monsters, Inc. as one of the toys that Boo gives to Sulley after she returns to her room.
- Notably, in the Monsters, Inc. comic mini-series Laugh Factory, Boo's Jessie doll is prominently featured in the third installment, "Toy Worry". In that story, Sid, using the monsters' door-traveling technology, steals Jessie from Boo while she isn't looking, as he is trying to "save" other kids from being terrorized by living toys like he was. After Mike and Sulley return Boo's Jessie doll to her at the end, they scoff at the idea of toys coming to life, but Boo's Jessie doll gives a knowing wink to the reader.
- Jessie is the only female toy in Andy's room who solely belongs to Andy, while the other female toys belong to Molly.
- She is a female counterpart to Woody (just like Mrs. Potato Head is to Mr. Potato Head), but has a different personality.
- While all the other toys have brown, blue, and black eyes, Jessie is the only one with green. Also, she is the only toy with red hair.
- Since Jessie is from the 1950s, it is possible that she is approximately 50+ years old.
- She has red hair and a red hat. Meanwhile, Woody has brown hair and a brown hat. It is unknown if this was done on purpose or just a coincidence.
- Even though he is Woody's horse, Bullseye seems to be more attached to Jessie. Whenever Bullseye is around, she usually has an arm around him. Other times during dramatic situations, he hides behind her, or Jessie holds him close.
- Jessie was honored with the Patsy Montana Entertainer Award from the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
- Jessie appears, with Bullseye and Woody, in Meet the Robinsons.
- Buzz and Jessie's dance moves during the end credits of Toy Story 3 are choreographed by Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke of Dancing with the Stars.
- In Toy Story 2, Andy names Jessie "Bazooka Jane". But in Toy Story 3, when Andy introduces Bonnie to her, he calls her by her real name. It is unknown how Andy learned her real name, but it is possible that he found out about Woody's Roundup and learned her name. It is also possible that like real Jessie dolls, one of her pull string quotes does include her saying her name.
- Another thing which makes it possible Andy heard about Woody's Roundup is the fact in the show she can summon animals by yodeling, which she does when Andy plays with her at the beginning of Toy Story 3.
- Jessie develops romantic feelings toward Buzz, which were briefly shown in Toy Story 2. Though teased near the end of the second film and the beginning of the third film, it seems that their relationship is in bloom when she is swayed by Spanish Buzz's romantic persuasions and Buzz (switched back to normal) holding onto her hand as they approached the incinerator and walking home. They confirm their love through dancing to the Spanish version of "You've Got a Friend in Me" during the credits. Despite this, the two make no indications of being in a relationship in Toy Story 4, and have little to no interaction with one another.
- In Toy Story 4, Bonnie appears to favor Jessie the most, as she takes Woody's badge and puts it on her during playtime. After Woody parts ways with the group, he offers Jessie his badge for good, displaying the trust he has in her ability to look after Bonnie.
- Even though Bo Peep is Woody's love interest, many confuse Jessie to be Woody's girlfriend. So much so that they're are couples costumes of Woody and Jessie that couples wear.