Mr. Potato Head (often referred to as simply Potato Head) is one of the supporting characters in the Disney/Pixar Toy Story movies. He is a moody, crabby Humpty Dumpty-like toy based on the Hasbro and Playskool toy of the same name. He supporting tritagonist in the first Toy Story movie and The Sequels. He was thought to be the main antagonist of the first movie but this was to reveal the first film's real main villain later on.
Potato head is a Mr. Potato Head doll with attachable parts, consisting of an orange nose, both black eyebrows and mustache, slender white arms, eyes with eyelids, red lips, pink ears, black bowler hat, and blue sneakers. When at Andy's school, he takes the form of a puppet hand.
Potato Head is a rather cynical Mr. Potato Head doll, of the common design of Playskool. Andy often casts him as a villain in his games, which seems to be the reason he can be so cynical and irritable, being cast as the bad guy so often. Although he's sarcastic, cynical, rude and has an acerbic point of view, deep down he has a heart of gold, he loves his wife and is prepared to go to limitless lengths to save his friends. In the second movie, when Woody was kidnapped, he showed some shock and later he showed some sadness when Woody refused to go back with Andy's Toys. Head appears to be partners with Hamm as they are seen high-fiving each other whenever something exciting or victorious happens.
Despite being antagonistic in Toy Story, Potato Head becomes much more amicable after the arrival of Mrs. Potato Head.
In the original story pitch for Toy Story, he had largely the same personality as the final film, with his cynicism also being highlighted by his remarking, regarding Buzz potentially falling into the street (after Woody pushed Buzz out of the window, deliberately in this version) that "[Buzz] ain't going to Pizza [Planet] now!" He was also shown to be very defensive of his fellow toys, as evidenced by his telling Woody, after the latter viciously insulted Slinky Dog and threatened to throw him off the bed for not willing to obey him in throwing them off the bed, that he might as well throw him off as well, with Hamm and Rex joining in.
Mr. Potato Head first appears in Toy Storyplaying One-Eyed Bart. After Andy leaves his room, Potato Head wakes up to find a number of his parts scattered to the floor (Molly has earlier drooled on him, and also smashed him apart), also expressing irritation that Andy has had to place him in Molly's crib during their "playtime," as he is supposed to be only playable for children of ages three and up. He then shows Hamm his messed-up face (with all his facial pieces (except the mustache) in wrong slots), pretending to be Picasso, but Hamm has no idea, and Potato Head berates Hamm for being uncultured.
When Woody holds a staff meeting, Potato Head asks if they have to hold hands when Woody tells everyone to get a moving buddy. Potato Head points out that Woody is, of course, not worried when he tells everyone not to panic when Andy's birthday has been moved to that day, only for Slinky to speak up to Potato Head when he has complained about that. And when Slinky is not looking, Potato Head takes off his mouth and "kisses" his butt, while Slinky keeps talking. When Woody sends Sarge and his Green Army Men, Potato Head prays for Andy to get a Mrs. Potato Head.
During most of the first film, Potato Head is very rude, unfriendly and mean to Woody, mostly because he's jealous of Woody being Andy's favorite toy. For example, when he becomes fascinated with all the features of the Buzz Lightyear action figure that Andy has received for his birthday, Mr. Potato Head also makes fun of Woody by accusing him of not having a laser like Buzz, describing Woody's sampled voice "like a car ran over it," and suggesting an attic as a special place Andy will have for Woody.
One evening, after Woody accidentally knocks Buzz out the window, Mr. Potato Head is quick to accuse Woody of being a murderer, having witnessed the chain of events that led to Buzz being knocked out the window, interrogates Woody as to if he will do the same to him as well if Andy started playing with him more, and leads a mutiny with the other toys to attack Woody. But before the toys can do so, they all retreat when they hear Andy approaching the room. While Andy searches the room for Buzz, Mr. Potato Head quietly gets Woody's attention and has Etch draw a hangman's noose, threatening to hang Woody for harming Buzz, before Andy leaves with Woody for Pizza Planet.
That night, when Andy and his mom return home, Mr. Potato Head, along with Hamm, is feeling somewhat content when he learns about Woody's disappearance, as he has continued to admit Woody's guilt in the window incident.
Later the next day, Woody throws a string of Christmas lights from Sid's house to Andy's house; Slinky catches them, but Mr. Potato Head snatches the lights away and labels Woody a liar after he tells the other toys if they have forgotten what he did to Buzz regarding the window incident. Woody then tries to convince the toys to let him get back by pretending that Buzz is with him (using Buzz's severed left arm), but Mr. Potato Head remains suspicious of what Woody is actually doing and asks Woody what's he trying to pull. When Woody accidentally blows his cover by showing Buzz's arm, Mr. Potato Head snaps at Woody, calls him a "murdering dog," and tells him he hopes Sid will break his voice box, before the toys back away from the window, leaving Woody depressed and stranded in Sid's house.
On the night before the moving day, it was shown that Rex was his moving buddy, but only because everyone else was picked. Rex sticks his head out of the box to gasp for air, making Mr. Potato Head mad and wonder why they became moving buddies in the first place.
The next day, during the move to Andy's new house, Woody tosses RC out of the moving truck onto the street to rescue Buzz from Scud, and Mr. Potato Head, thinking that Woody is trying to get rid of another toy, rallies the other toys to ambush Woody and toss him overboard, despite that Andy already missed Woody. During the ambush, Woody hits Mr. Potato Head with RC's remote, causing his left ear and entire face parts to fall off, and his mouth yells, "Toss him overboard!" after Woody tries to explain to the toys that they need to save Buzz. However, when Bo Peep reveals that Woody was "telling the truth," after the other toys see Woody and Buzz are on RC, Mr. Potato Head realizes his mistake and is horrified and guilty at what he had done. He attempts to compensate for his mistakes by holding onto Slinky's tail so Slinky can help Woody, Buzz, and RC back into the truck. It fails, however, but Woody and Buzz use Sid's rocket and toss RC back to the van; the toys move out of the way as RC crashes into Mr. Potato Head, sending his pieces flying in all directions, possibly in an ironic payback for having led the mutiny against Woody in the first place.
At the end of the film, Mr. Potato Head is overjoyed to hear Molly receiving a Mrs. Potato Head as her Christmas present. When the toys congratulate Mr. Potato Head, he remarks that he better shave, so he takes off his mustache.
Toy Story 2
In Toy Story 2, he is first seen having found Mrs. Potato Head's missing ear. Woody thinks he found his hat, but he tells Woody the "Mrs. lost earring" as he returns it to her. Mr. Potato Head, along with the other toys, witnesses Woody going down to the yard sale with Buster to rescue Wheezy from being sold, and is shocked when Woody gets stolen by Al. After Woody is kidnapped, he and Hamm set up a crime scene, where Mr. Potato Head operates Exhibit F, in which he details the kidnapper's escape route, although he later snaps at Rex after the latter, when asking for the phone number for the FBI, inadvertently destroys his crime scene. He indirectly, and inadvertently, helps Buzz come up with the answer to LZTYBRN (the license plate on the car of the man who has stolen Woody) when he sarcastically tells the others to "leave Buzz to play with his toys". As Buzz orders Etch to "draw that man in a chicken suit," Potato Head, along with the other toys, is horrified to learn that the man who has kidnapped Woody is the "chicken man", Al McWhiggin, who also happens to be the owner of Al's Toy Barn.
Later, Mr. Potato Head goes on a mission with Buzz, Hamm, Rex and Slinky to rescue Woody, showing him in a much more positive light and suggesting that his relationship with Woody has greatly improved. Before they leave, Mrs. Potato Head packs her husband an extra pair of shoes and angry eyes, and the Mr. puts on his mustache he "shaved" from the first movie saying "let's roll". At one point, when the toys are reprimanded by Buzz for requesting a rest, Buzz mentions the time when Potato Head had Woody thrown "out of the back of that moving van," and Mr. Potato Head is still shown to be regretting this greatly, even though Woody has long since forgiven him. When the toys cross the street to Al's Toy Barn, they indirectly cause a semi tractor-trailer to jackknife, and the chains securing a large pipe on the semi break, freeing the pipe. The pipe subsequently rolls down the street, during which Potato Head gets one of his feet stuck on a piece of chewing gum on the pavement, and has to pull his foot off the gum before the pipe can squish him. Upon making it to the other side of the road, he commented on how well that went, just as the pipe rolls into and causes a lamppost to fall down onto the street.
While the toys search Al's Toy Barn, they encounter a Barbie aisle, where Tour Guide Barbie hops into the car, right next to Mr. Potato Head, who remarks that he is a married spud, prompting Hamm to switch seats with him. He seems to be the most suspicious of a cocky attitude of the newer Buzz Lightyear action figure that the toys take with them from Al's Toy Barn. After the toys break into Al's apartment, Mr. Potato Head tries to scare Jessie by reaching into his back compartment for his angry eyes, but attaches his spare pair of shoes by mistake (especially after Mrs. Potato Head has given him his shoes and his angry eyes).
When the toys leave the apartment after Al leaves with Woody, Potato Head throws his hat like a frisbee to jam the apartment lobby's closing doors (similar to Oddjob in Goldfinger), letting the toys pass through. Outside, he is the first to spot an idling Pizza Planet delivery truck nearby, and is assigned by Buzz to operate the levers and knobs with Hamm. To make the truck accelerate, Potato Head shifts the lever of the truck while Slinky presses down the pedals. While the toys chase Al in the truck, Mr. Potato Head saves three alien toys from flying out the window. He becomes increasingly annoyed at the aliens' repeated expression of their gratefulness towards him. At Tri-County International Airport, he, Hamm, Rex and the Aliens aim for a luggage, only to find a flash camera instead, but they use that camera to stun Stinky Pete the Prospector before he can finish Woody off with his pick ax.
After the toys return home, Mrs. Potato Head, upon hearing that her husband has saved the aliens, decides to adopt them as their children, much to his dismay. Finally, he and his wife are seen standing together as they watch a fixed Wheezy sing (in a deep voice) "You've Got a Friend in Me."
Toy Story 3
- “Don't you get it? We're done! Finished! Over the hill!”
- ―Mr. Potato Head
In Toy Story 3, Mr. Potato Head is still annoyed when the Aliens continue to express their gratefulness toward him. When a teenage Andy enters his room to do something about the toys, he puts Mr. Potato Head and all the other toys, except Woody, into a trash bag. He intends to put the bag in the attic, but leaves to help his sister Molly. However, Andy's slightly aged mom mistakes the bag for trash and puts it on the curb. Mr. Potato Head was partly responsible for saving the toys from death when he pointed out what's the point to get out if Andy doesn't want them, making Buzz see Rex's pointy tail. The toys manage to escape and sneak into a box bound for Sunnyside Daycare. Woody tries to clear up the misunderstanding, but the toys do not believe him and go to the daycare, where they are greeted by Lotso, who assigns them to the Caterpillar Room.
After Woody bails, the toys experience a rather rough playtime with the toddlers, with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head's parts being scattered on the floor and being chewed on, once even having Mr. Potato Head's parts inside a toddler's nose. While Buzz ventures out of the room to go find Lotso so he could ask him to transfer them to the Butterfly Room, Mrs. Potato Head, through her other eye that has been left behind in Andy's room, notices that Andy is searching for them, making Mr. Potato Head (as well as the other toys) shocked to realize that Woody has been right about Andy's intention to store the toys in the attic. He and Hamm argue over who didn't believe Woody first. However, just then, Lotso and his henchmen, now with a reset Buzz, lock up all the toys, and when Lotso told the gang that kids need love,but Mr.Potato Head denies because they've been played rough, and when Lotso removes Mrs. Potato Head's mouth to silence her, Mr. Potato Head tries to get his wife's mouth back. As Big Baby imprisons Mrs. Potato Head, Mr. Potato Head tries to stop Big Baby, who then picks up Mr. Potato Head and, under Lotso's instruction, takes him to a sandbox outside for him to "learn himself some manners."
The next day, Mr. Potato Head, covered with sand, describes his night in the sandbox after rejoining with the other toys. After experiencing another rough playtime with the toddlers, Mr. Potato Head and the others are reunited with Woody, who has returned to rescue them. Mr. Potato Head supports Jessie's statement about being wrong about Andy, and Woody apologizes to the toys for leaving them behind. That night, Mr. Potato Head is caught by Ken, Buzz and Big Baby while taking a nighttime stroll. He stands up to himself and kicks Ken, who then orders Big Baby to put him back in the sandbox. Immediately thereafter, he pushes his parts out through a hole in the bottom and demonstrates the ability of his parts as they are capable of hopping around on their own.
Mr. Tortilla Head
- “What are you looking at, Feathers? Hey! Ow! Ow! Ow! EEYAAH!!! Yeah! Fly away, you coward!!”
- ―Feathers pecking on him as he shoos him away.
After Jessie, Bullseye, Hamm and Rex entrap Buzz in a storage bin, Jessie tosses a tortilla roll for Mr. Potato Head's parts. After his hand grabs hold of the tortilla, he sticks his parts into it, turning himself into "Mr. Tortilla Head." This causes him to have a floppy walk. He climbs up onto a trike and uses a mirror attached to it to direct the moonlight into the Caterpillar Room to signal Mrs. Potato Head to unlock the door. While walking on a windowsill, he is confronted by a pigeon (who is called Feathers by Tortilla Head), who pecks at his tortilla body repeatedly until he finally shoos the pigeon away. However, the tortilla falls apart as he falls from the windowsill. His eye then catches sight of a vegetable garden nearby.
Mr. Cucumber Head
- Mr. Cucumber Head: "You would not believe what I've been through tonight!"
Mrs. Potato Head: "Darling! Are you okay?"
Mr. Cucumber Head: "I feel fresh! Healthy! It's terrible!"
Mrs. Potato Head: "You've lost weight. And so tall."
- —Mr. Cucumber Head and Mrs. Potato Head, after Mr. Cucumber Head catches up with the gang
While the toys are making their way to the garbage chute (the only escape route as the Chatter Telephone has told Woody about), Mrs. Potato Head warns Jessie and Buzz, the latter being reset to Spanish mode by accident, about someone approaching them from behind. It turns out to be "Mr. Cucumber Head" (parts of Mr. Potato Head using a cucumber for his body), whom Mrs. Potato Head instantly recognizes. He remarks to her that he is feeling fresh and healthy but terrible in that body, but is relieved when Bullseye gives him back his plastic potato body. Mr. Cucumber Head then transfers all his parts back onto his plastic potato body, changing himself back into Mr. Potato Head.
Back to Mr. Potato Head
- “Ah, you're a sight for detachable eyes.”
- ―Mr. Cucumber Head, as he puts himself together again to change back into Mr. Potato Head
After putting himself together again, Mr. Potato Head and the others make their way out of Sunnyside through the garbage chute, only to be confronted by Lotso again. The confrontation eventually results in Lotso's henchmen turning on their leader upon being convinced of his deception, and Lotso being thrown into a dumpster by Big Baby. After Lotso pulls Woody into the dumpster, Mr. Potato Head and the others jump onto the dumpster, only to fall into a garbage truck that has just arrived. The truck takes them to the Tri-County Landfill, where the toys escape the shredders but are dumped into a furnace after Lotso leaves them to die in an incinerator. Mr. Potato Head joins hands with his wife and Rex; when taking Rex's hand, he seems to make amends with Rex by nodding solemnly after years of dismissing him. Just as the toys are about to face their fiery death, they are saved by a giant claw crane that the Aliens are commandeering.
After the Aliens catch up with the toys outside the furnace, Mr. Potato Head's attitude toward the Aliens changes for the better as he expresses his gratefulness toward them by using the second half of their repeated grateful message, "And we are eternally grateful. My boys!" (following his wife's "You saved our lives.") and hugs the aliens, finally accepting them as his children. The toys return home, wash themselves off with a garden hose, and climb back to Andy's room. They say goodbye to Woody as they climb into a box destined for the attic, and Mr. Potato Head tells Woody that he should tell Andy to get a haircut. However, with Woody's intervention, he is finally given to Bonnie Anderson, along with his wife and the other toys, when Andy stops at her house while en route to college. After Andy leaves, Mr. Potato Head is briefly seen tipping his hat to Chuckles, who is shaking hands with Mrs. Potato Head.
In the cr s, as he and his wife watch Totoro juggling their "children," the Peas-in-a-Pod cause mischief inside Mr. Potato Head's back compartment, causing many of his parts to pop out. As they bounce away, Mr. Potato Head furiously tells them, through his detached mouth, to stay out of his butt. Finally, he and his wife are seen standing together as the toys watch Jessie and Buzz perform a pasodoble to "Hay un Amigo en Mí," the Spanish version of "You've Got a Friend in Me."
Toy Story 4
Mr. Potato Head returns in the sequel. He goes on a road trip along with Bonnie and her other toys and family. Despite Don Rickles' passing, he is still voiced by him via archived audio.
- Mr. Potato Head's line "What are you looking at, ya hockey puck?" is one of Don Rickles' catchphrases.
- At one point in Toy Story 2, Mr. Potato Head pokes his eye through the vent at Al's apartment. However, this may contradict with his earlier action when he removes his ears while Rex is reading the manual of Buzz Lightyear: Attack on Zurg.
- Mr. Potato Head's hat-throwing technique to stop the closing doors at Al's Penthouse resembles Oddjob's trademark hat-throwing technique in Goldfinger.
- The design that Pixar used for Mr. Potato Head is an altered version of the 1980s and 90s design. For instance, in the real world, the toy Mr. Potato Head's eyes are attached to each other with only one hole on the plastic potato to put them in. In the Toy Story films, Mr. Potato Head's eyes are separate and have one hole for each eye on the plastic body to place them in (this is true for the shoes as well). That's why the Toy Story Collection version has connected eyes, in which the eye connection is a "half inaccuracy." The collectors were not pleased. However, we may see more accurate versions in the near future, as Hasbro announced that they may make revisions to their design.
- Thanks to the franchise, Potato Head dolls started selling like hot cakes.
- According to himself in Toy Story, children under three cannot, or, at least, should not, play with him.
- It is possible Mr. Potato Head comes with over 30 accessories like Mrs. Potato Head, including his angry eyes and spare shoes, even though most of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head's accessories are unseen throughout the movies.
- Mr. Potato Head is also the first character seen in the first film and the series.
- He has helped the toys several of times in each movie from his quotes, like when he sarcastically said, "Let's leave Buzz to play with his toys," or "Andy doesn't want us. What's the point?"
- In Toy Story, Mr. Potato Head does not have his storage compartment, which he does have in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. No official reason was given as to why.
- It is unknown how his eyebrows can be separated from his eyes. Mr. Potato Head has removed at least one eye in every movie, and he is seen to have been able to take his eyebrows apart. However, when it shows him with one or no eyes, there is no hole for the eyebrows, but they can separate.
- In the Dutch version of Toy Story 3, the tortilla that Mr. Potato Head uses as a body is called a pancake for some reason.
- Given that Mattel made Mr. Potato Head toys to tie-in with the movie, he's the only Hasbro toy which was licensed to Mattel.
- Mr. Potato Head is the second Toy Story character to have a voice actor replacement, the first being Slinky.
- He is one of the few main Toy Story characters that will not appear in Kingdom Hearts III. This is likely because his voice actor Don Rickles died and the Disney Studio has not had a replacement voice actor for him yet. However, in the second half of the All Grown Up! series and School Daze, he is voiced by Zack Johnson, the same guy who voiced Mr. Lansey and Mr. Macari from the School Daze series.