Buzz Lightyear is a workaholic — in a real, scientific, medically diagnosable kind of way. Per Healthline, symptoms of work addiction include “putting in long hours at the office, even when not needed,” “being obsessed with work-related success,” “having intense fear of failure at work,” “using work as a way to avoid relationships,” and “working to cope with feelings of guilt or depression,” among others. As it happens, all those signifiers fit Buzz Lightyear to a T.
Even before the Turnip gets stranded, Buzz shows numerous instances of work obsession. He’s a by-the-book operator who doesn’t like working with rookies, and he holds himself to the highest possible standard. It’s hinted later that this behavior may stem from a larger inferiority complex. Buzz reveals that he wasn’t especially good at boot camp, and that he almost quit after his first week. Despite achieving great success in Star Command since then, he’s no less hard on himself.
Things only become magnified after the Turnip becomes stranded — an accident for which Buzz exclusively blames himself. He’s so fixated on fixing what he sees as his mistake that he willingly lets go of his friends, relationships, and life as a whole in order to undergo the repeated hyperspeed tests. “Lightyear” keeps a pretty upbeat tone for the majority of its runtime, but older viewers will surely clock that Buzz is in a pretty bad place for a lot of the story. Fortunately, he eventually finds a way out.