There’s a snake in my boot is the well-known catchphrase of the character Woody in the Toy Story animations, uttered by the doll, when someone uses his pull string.
There are numerous theories about the actual meaning of the phrase.
One of these holds, that alcoholics in the 19th century would often hallucinate snakes in their delirium, claiming that Woody himself is or has been an alcoholic.
The expression could be seen as the Wild West equivalent of the modern day “seeing pink elephants”.
However, the most likely explanation is that cowboys spending their nights in the prairie or in a desert could find snakes and other venomous critters in their boots, had they taken it off for sleeping.
“There’s a snake in my boot” was first heard in the 1995 Pixar animation, Toy Story, where Woody, one of the protagonists has a pullstring, that activates the doll, making him say one of his catchphrases.
The actual meaning behind the phrase has been debated ever since the premiere of the animation.
Online, the expression would see several meme iterations over the years, with various image macros featuring Woody, paired with the caption “there’s a snake in my boots” emerging on sites like Reddit, HugeLol and 9GAG.