At first, Stinky Pete was friendly and acted like a grandfather figure and a mentor. However, he soon snapped and turned out to be evil, having grown bitter at the fact that he spent his life in a dime store shelf and was never sold.
Stinky Pete's box had never been opened, making him a "mint-in-the-Box" to collector's. He is quite intelligent, manipulative, and well-spoken and seems to be a grandfather or mentor when he first appears. He spent his life on a dime store shelf, watching every other toy be sold until Al McWhiggin bought him. Why he sees children as the eradication of toys is because he never experienced the love and affection of a child, explaining his malicious and bitter nature later on in the movie and explaining also why he would rather be in Japan than love any child.
Stinky Pete really hates space toys, especially Buzz Lightyear, as he blames space adventures for causing the show Woody's Roundup to be cancelled. His true colors are shown when Woody changes his mind and invites him, Jessie and Bullseye to come live with Andy. He screws the air vent up very tightly to stop Woody from escaping. He also keeps Woody from getting his arm back from Al by turning on the TV and framing Jessie for it. The process is not seen onscreen, but it can be guessed that while Woody was climbing on top of Al for his arm, The Prospector left his box, then flipped on the TV via the remote control, just when Woody thought he was in the clear and getting ready to run. Prospector then possibly scooted the remote control over to Jessie so as to make Woody think that she was the one trying to stop him, thus probably explaining the process of how he framed her. When Jessie and Woody fight, The Prospector tells them to quit at once and then falls down from the stand he was on while still in his box. He then faked innocence and claimed that he didn't know how that television turned on, but having a scuffle over that wasn't helping (this is a part of his grandfatherly side).
This all finally leads to the airport, where Buzz comes to rescue Woody. The Prospector punches Buzz, angering Woody and the two fight but Woody's old rip is reopened by him. He is about to finish Woody off until Buzz and the other toys blind him with a flash camera. Buzz grabs him by the shirt and holds him up. The Prospector tells Andy's toys that they are being bamboozled, saying that children destroy toys and that they will rot in a landfill. Woody tells Stinky Pete that it's time he learns "the true meaning of playtime" and orders all the toys to drop him off in a Barbie doll backpack that belongs to a girl named Amy, who likes to draw tattoos on her doll's faces. Amy decides to give him a "makeover," and he starts to cry as he is taken to his new home. Although this appeared to be a bad ending, it had given the Prospector somewhat of a sense of justice. Because he had to endure seeing children wanting other toys except him for 50 years, now he was being owned by a child after ½ a century of being passed over.
Stinky Pete appears in the game as a meet-and-greet character along the Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland. At one point, he gives the player a fishing rod as a gift. He also asks the player to help track down some rustlers that are supposedly in the area.
- The Prospector was a longtime member of the Roundup Gang on TV, and was often the butt of many humiliating jokes including having the sharp end of his pickaxe stuck in his bottom.
- Despite being a protagonist on the TV show, in reality, the Prospector was an antagonist as he tried many times to convince Woody to go to Japan with them and hurt some of Woody's friends.
- Stinky Pete was marked by his severe hatred for "space toys", whom he had blamed for causing the cancellation of the show, which ran on TV until the launch of Sputnik, which lead to children's subsequent loss of interest in cowboy toys.
- In an outtake from Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete was talking to the Barbie twins about getting a part in Toy Story 3. Since this was non-canon, it turns out it wasn't real, as only one Barbie appeared in the third film.
- According to his box, the Prospector said 9 phrases, which probably went for the rest of the gang as well (except Bullseye). Some of them included: "There's Gold in them ther Hills", "Help! I think I'm stuck", "Aw...Shucks-A-Boo" and "Oh Boy!...Beans for Dinner."
- In the movie, Prospector questioned Woody about the idea of thinking that Andy was going to take him with him to college or on his honeymoon, as it was unlikely an adult would do so. While in Toy Story 3, his prediction on that turned out to be true, with Andy ultimately handing Woody, along with his other toys (including Jessie and Bullseye), over to a girl named Bonnie Anderson. However, it should be noted that Andy was indeed initially planning on taking Woody with him to college, therefore defying the Prospector's expectations.
- Stinky Pete also appears in Toy Story 3: The Video Game as a minor character (this time more like the Woody's Roundup version). Kelsey Grammer did not reprise his role.
- Stinky Pete makes a cameo in Toy Story Mania!. Again, like the Toy Story 3 video game, Grammer did not reprise his role.
- And it is interesting to note that Zurg was evil all through Toy Story 2 until the end, but Stinky Pete was good through all the film till the ending but turned good after being with Amy.
- Stinky Pete is the first Pixar villain to be physically fought.