In Toy Story 4 (2019), after Forky jumps into a trash bin, Woody says:

Woody: Oh, Chutes and Ladders!

What makes Woody say "Chutes and Ladders"?


"Chutes and Ladders" is the American name for the popular board game Snakes and Ladders. In context, Woody is clearly using it as a toy-themed "minced oath" (a family-friendly version of a swear word). Note that "Chute" is one vowel sound away from "Shit".

  • 35
    As another layer, some media will already use "shoot" as a minced oath in this context - they're just adapting it to a toy / game theme Feb 25 '20 at 8:45
  • 25
    Don't forget also that Woody is an incredibly "wholesome" character from the '50s, who might even view a minced oath like "shoot" as ungentlemanly. Beyond the toy-related pun, using an "even-more-minced oath" to replace a "minced oath" fits with his character. Feb 25 '20 at 14:34
  • 15
    Worth noting that "Chutes and Ladders" is the name that Americans typically know the game by. In the commonwealth it's known as "Snakes and Ladders", but Americans would probably look at you sideways if you asked them what that was. The snakes were replaced with playground slides because, evidently, American kids found snakes scary in 1943.
    – J...
    Feb 25 '20 at 16:17
  • 14
    But... Americans slide down slides, not chutes.
    – Tin Wizard
    Feb 25 '20 at 19:20
  • 12
    @J... In fact the game (snakes, ladders, and all) pre-dates playground slides (first installed in the 1900s) by around 1800 years... I think we can understand why the Indians decided to use a venomous animal to represent being set back instead. Feb 25 '20 at 22:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.