She is inspired by the character of the classic children's nursery rhyme Little Bo-Peep. Bo is sometimes considered to be "Andy's toy" because Andy likes to make her the damsel in distress of his plays. Bo is the romantic interest (later girlfriend) of Woody, providing a calm and loving comfort whenever he is overwhelmed. She is noted for using her shepherdess crook to hook her Cowboy and bring him closer in a romantic way. In private, she is a great deal more daring with her words and actions, which Woody seems to be quite fond of.
Originally, Woody's girlfriend in the first Toy Story was supposed to be a Barbie doll instead of Bo Peep, but Mattel refused to license the character to Disney. However, after the success of Toy Story (and boost in sales for Mr. Potato Head and other featured toys), Mattel gave Disney permission to have Barbie dolls in Toy Story 2 and 3.
In the infamous Black Friday reel, Bo was actually the first to accuse Woody of deliberately throwing Buzz out of the window, and also participates in having Woody being thrown off the bed (and later, thanks to Slinky, out of the window). She might have felt terrible for her actions after they found out that Woody was gone. In addition, she sounded slightly different in this version, sporting a Southern Belle accent provided by Kath Soucie.
Bo Peep's shrinking role in the series after the first film is explained in The Art of Toy Story 3. Bo Peep was among the main cast of the first film as a voice of female reason and was not Andy's toy, but a porcelain lamp in Molly's bedroom. When traveling with the main characters, Bo could easily "shatter into a million pieces" whilst doing dangerous stunts. Due to being unable to find a believable spot in the story, Bo Peep only appears at the beginning and end of Toy Story 2. Bo Peep was ultimately written out of Toy Story 3, due to the fact Molly and Andy wouldn't want her anymore, and emblematic of the losses the toys have had over time. She also was written out due to the belief that Andy probably wouldn't have anything to say about her when he gives the other toys to Bonnie at the third film's end.
In Toy Story, Bo Peep is introduced as Woody's love interest. When Andy is playing with them, he makes Bo Peep the damsel that Woody must save. Later, she offers to get someone to watch her sheep, with the intention of spending time alone with Woody. She is one of the very few toys in Andy's room who believed that Woody would not intentionally harm Buzz when he accidentally pushed him out of the window, although when Woody exposes Buzz's severed arm, she begins to doubt him while the other toys are more convinced to take Mr. Potato Head's side in turning against Woody. She is shown to be shocked upon hearing about Woody's disappearance when Andy comes back home from Pizza Planet, not knowing he is being brought home after being caught along with Buzz by Sid Philips. On the night before the moving day, Bo Peep is shown to be worried about Woody when she sees a sad Andy sleeping while holding his cowboy hat, saying that if only Andy misses Woody. Later, after witnessing Woody being thrown out of the moving truck under Mr. Potato Head's orders after being mistaken for trying to kill another toy, Bo Peep helps the toys realize that "Woody was telling the truth" when she and Lenny spot Woody approaching the moving truck with Buzz and RC, and the toys brighten up, realizing what they have done and feeling guilty and remorseful over their actions, with Bo Peep ordering Rocky to lower the moving truck's ramp to help get RC back on the truck, but it was too late as RC's batteries run out. At the end of Toy Story, Bo Peep drags Woody in close under the mistletoe and kisses him repeatedly. Woody's later seen with lipstick marks all over his face. This is the only time she's seen without her bonnet.
Toy Story 2Edit
In Toy Story 2, she is devastated after Al McWhiggin of Al's Toy Barn steals Woody. When Buzz plans a rescue, Bo Peep gives Buzz a kiss (intended for Woody when Buzz finds him) and waves goodbye to Buzz and the other toys, wishing them good luck, as they leave on their mission to rescue Woody. After the toys return home, Woody shows her his arm, fixed by Andy himself, which she greatly admires. Finally, she and Woody are seen together with Buzz and Jessie as they enjoy watching Wheezy sing "You've Got a Friend in Me."
When Toy Story 2 came out, interviews with the various characters were posted on the official movie site. In one interview with Bo Peep, she was asked, "Are you worried about Woody's relationship with Jessie?" She replies: "There is nothing to worry about; me and Jessie are good friends. Woody and Jessie act like brother and sister more than anything else. Now it's not Woody, but a certain space toy who is head over heels for Jessie, but you didn't hear that from me."
Toy Story 3
Bo Peep only appears in the home videos Andy's mom recorded of Andy playing with his toys. She is later mentioned by Woody and Rex during their staff meeting. Woody reveals that Bo Peep and her Sheep were either donated or sold in one of the yard sales along with Wheezy, Lenny, Etch A Sketch, and other toys.
Toy Story 4
Bo Peep will return in Toy Story 4 with a major role. Her voice actress Annie Potts confirmed in June 2018 that, even though most of the script had been rewritten and the film would now be directed By Josh Cooley, her character will have a significant part in the story.
- Bo Peep is a reference to the fairy tale The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. This story was also about toys in a child's room coming to life when no one is looking.
- Even though she belongs to Molly, Bo Peep has been considered to be one of Andy's toys - being played with by Andy and even being labeled as "Andy's Toys" on a bonus feature on the 2005 Toy Story 1 and 2 DVDs.
- Bo Peep is a playable character on Toy Story Racer.
- In all merchandise, Bo Peep is either plastic or plush (which contradicts her being porcelain in the movies). This is likely because porcelain can be shattered easily and might be dangerous towards children.
- She was renamed Betty in the Latin American dub.
- There was an actual Bo Peep toy released by Thinkway in 2000 to promote the release of Toy Story 2. However, unlike Bo Peep in the film, the "real" Bo Peep was made of plastic rather than from porcelain.