Andy, now nearly 18 years old, is just days away from heading off to college, and his toys, including Woody and Buzz Lightyear, are worried about their uncertain future.
Andy plans to keep Woody and put the others in the attic, but his mother accidentally throws them away. Opening the trash bag they’re in, the toys think that Andy tries to throw them away. Jessie thinks the toys should take charge of their own destiny and convinces them to stow away in a box of other toys headed for donation to Sunnyside Daycare. Woody, trying to save the toys from being thrown away, realizes they’re in the donation box. Woody tries to rescue them but before he can leave Andy’s mom puts him in the box and closes the back door.
When the toys arrive at Sunnyside they meet many new faces such as a pink strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lotso, who is the leader of the Sunnyside toys and a smooth-talking Ken doll, who falls head over heels for Molly’s Barbie doll.
The toys are keen on starting a new life at the daycare, except for Woody. Woody tries to escape but ends up being taken home by a little girl named Bonnie who takes him to meet her own toys; including Trixie the Triceratops, and the thespian hedgehog Mr. Pricklepants.