Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Inside Out

Go To

Characters from Pixar's film Inside Out. Beware of unmarked spoilers.


    open/close all folders 

The Andersen Family

    Riley Andersen 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Inside_Out_1.png
Voiced by: Kaitlyn Dias, Lola Cooley (as a toddler), Mary Gibbs (screams and cries recycled from Monsters, Inc.)

One of the protagonists of Inside Out (alongside her emotions), who has to adjust to a new chapter in her life when her family moves from the Midwest to San Francisco.


  • Break the Cutie: She goes through this when her family leaves Minnesota, culminating in her decision to run away and try to return. Ultimately, she is able to confide in her parents and becomes a stronger person as a result.
  • Character Development: Riley evolves as a character through the movie, both directly seen and experienced by her emotions. By the end of the film Riley has developed into a more emotionally complex person as a result of her emotional crisis, which is symbolized by the new control panel the emotions use as well as the memory orbs now seen possessing multiple colors.
  • Cheerful Child: Was this when she was younger. She was always smiling and had boundless energy.
  • Childhood Friends: Has been best friends with Meg since they were toddlers.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality: Wears darker clothing as the film progresses, reflecting her emotional state.
  • The Cutie: Growing up shes portrayed as an adorable, upbeat child with a goofy side.
  • Daddy's Girl: In the family scenes, it's implied that she is closer to her father.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Downplayed. In Riley's First Date?, she brings home a boy named Jordan, who her father is extremely suspicious of (although it's implied that he would disapprove of any boy who came to their house, being an Overprotective Dad and all). Eventually, Riley's dad warms up to Jordan when he finds out that they both like AC/DC.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Riley has hated broccoli ever since Disgust first turned her off from it as a toddler.
  • Emotionless Girl: Becomes this in the film's final act; losing Joy, Sadness, and her core memories causes her to emotionally shut down. Joy, Fear, Disgust and Anger cannot influence her. Fortunately, it doesn't last.
  • Girlish Pigtails: As a toddler and young child, she often wears her hair in pigtails.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: She has a rather short temper due to the stress of moving, and Joy not being around.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Due to the stress of moving and Joy's absence, Riley is very depressed for much of the movie. Becomes an almost-literal BSOD near the end, when the idea of running away has taken over her mind and shut down the console.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: They reflect her childlike innocence when she's younger.
  • Lovable Jock: An active hockey player on her team (in both her former and current hometown) and is a well-behaved, fun-loving girl.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The Core Memory forming the basis of Goofball Island was one of her running through the house as a toddler without any clothes on.
  • Nice Girl: Riley is chipper, fun loving, upbeat, honest, cheerful (but prone to outbursts of anger), optimistic, sensitive, and sentimental.
  • The Pollyanna: With her mindset primarily controlled by Joy, Riley tends to look on the bright side.
  • The Runaway: Anger puts this idea in her head near the end of the film, reasoning that they can create new core memories by going back to Minnesota. Joy and Sadness show up at the last second to subvert it.
  • Ship Tease: Jordan is speechless when he first meets her, and a post-film short has Riley's parents worrying they might be going out (except, they're not).
  • Stepford Smiler: It's eventually revealed this is the real reason Sadness never is assigned a job; Riley believes she should never be sad for her parents' sake.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She plays hockey, which is known for being a very rough sport, and she tends to wear pants rather than skirts or dresses. However, she eventually gains an interest in Boy Bands and "tragic vampire romance" novels offscreen.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza; it's literally the first thing she asks for when she moves to San Francisco.
  • Tritagonist: The plot primarily focuses on her emotional turmoil alongside Joy and Sadness' developing relationship.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Riley has coulrophobia (a fear of clowns) since her subconscious part of her mind contains "Jangles the Birthday Clown", that scared her as a child.
    • She also has arachnophobia (fear of spiders), something that is used as a "horror nightmare movie" when she's asleep.
    • Other things seen in the darkest regions of her subconscious include the stairs to the pitch-dark basement and Grandma's vacuum cleaner.

    Bill Andersen 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Father.png
Voiced by: Kyle MacLachlan

Riley's father, who took a job in San Francisco and thus caused the family to move.


  • All There in the Manual: Though neither of Riley's parents are named in the film, their first names are revealed in the Essential Guide.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: He gets the idea to show up to her hockey game in full face paint, which naturally embarrasses Riley to no end. Disgust even notes that while Riley may appreciate it, she can't let Riley show it. His wife appreciates the gesture, though.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: He has the thickest eyebrows of his family.
  • Bumbling Dad: Despite the trailers playing it up, it's only present in one scene. When Mrs. Andersen tries to get support from her husband on asking Riley how her day was, none of his emotions were paying attention, leading him to simply repeat the question to Riley. Everywhere else in the movie he's shown to be a perfectly normal, even above average, father.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Like his wife, he has matching brown hair and brown eyes.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Him and his emotions are the central focus of the Riley's First Date? short; particularly, how exceptionally displeased he is at the prospect of said first date.
  • Death Glare: He gives such an effective one that Jordan would've been pissing his pants if he wasn't so mellow.
  • Drives Like Crazy: At least in Riley's opinion, if her "Dad's Driving Scares Me!" dream-movie poster shown as promotional material is any indication. Also forgets to use the parking break, causing the car to roll backwards in one scene.
  • Good Parents: Despite zoning out at the dinner table, he's shown to be a very loving and caring father to Riley.
  • Happily Married: Not that they don't experience some friction at times, but he and Mrs. Andersen ultimately have a solid relationship.
  • Hidden Depths: The "Riley's First Date" short reveals that, despite his contemporary working-stiff family man lifestyle, he's a fan of AC/DC and used to play lead guitar in a garage band. A memory from that era shows him in all his long-haired grungy glory.
  • Nice Guy: True, he may be a tad inattentive to things going on with his daughter, but this seems to be more related to his work schedule and that things were going wrong from the moment they arrived in San Francisco, and what comes about as a result of that business (one could view his not paying attention to Riley at dinner as zoning out after a long day's work). When he interacts with his family, and work doesn't bother him, you can tell that he really cares.
  • Not So Different: In Riley's First Date?, he ends up bonding with Jordan over both having been in a garage band and their shared love of AC/DC.
  • Overprotective Dad: In Riley's First Date?, he's clearly not happy about a guy trying to hang out with his daughter, and immediately decides that the kid's "not good enough for Riley". He even comes dangerously close to kicking him out of the house before finding some common ground.

    Jill Andersen 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/23F35CDF00000578-0-image-a-4_1418242893445.jpg
Voiced by: Diane Lane

Riley's mother. She tries to figure out why Riley seems to be behaving strangely, but doesn't have much success.


  • All There in the Manual: Though neither of Riley's parents are named in the film (though Mrs. Andersen's name does appear on her credit card), their first names are revealed in the Essential Guide.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: She goes along with her husband's idea to show up to Riley's hockey game in full face paint. Later, when starting to probe Riley about Jordan, she litters her speech with "cool words the kids say", resulting in an attempt so cringeworthy that Riley's Disgust nopes right out of there.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Like her husband, she has matching brown hair and brown eyes.
  • Good Parents: She's a loving and attentive mother, and quick to pick up on the fact that something's wrong with Riley.
  • Happily Married: For the most part, though she does keep the memory of a handsome Brazilian helicopter pilot on hand for when things get rough.
  • Hidden Depths: It's worth noting that her head emotion is Sadness; since Sadness seems to be the leader of her emotions (but is not a weeping mess like Riley's Sadness), it is possible this is where her understanding and compassionate nature comes from as sadness represents the ability to empathize with others.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: A more friendly example. When she puts up her hair, she's about to show Riley a thing or two about playing games.
    Joy: Oh! She put her hair up. We're in for it now!
  • Nice Girl: In a similar vein to her husband; however, her problems with Riley seem to arise from Riley sending conflicting signals about things. She (and by extension, her emotions) knows something's up but she can't really help Riley because she's literally having an internal struggle. That said she tries her best to cheer Riley up by spending time with her and voicing concern.
  • Speaking Like Totally Teen: Her attempt at using "cool words the kids say" resulted in a truly cringeworthy mixture of internet slang and ebonics.
    Joy: ...Did she just say "fo-sheezy"?
  • Unnamed Parent: Riley's parents are never named in the film itself (although her name is briefly visible on her debit card).
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Joy may well have been on her way to learning her lesson all on her own, until Mom tells Riley she should stay happy for her father's sake.

Riley's Mind

    The Emotions 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/inside_out.jpg

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Of emotions, obviously. Each of them embodies their namesake. Bing Bong is the spirit of childhood.
  • Born as an Adult: Though Riley starts off as a baby, her emotions don't.
  • Color Coded Emotions: Each emotion is associated with a color, and when an emotion is working the console, the memories generated will be colored to match that emotion. To wit:
    • Joy is a bright, effervescent yellow.
    • Sadness, of course, is blue.
    • Anger is a hot red.
    • Disgust is green.
    • Fear is a pale, washed-out and slightly sickly shade of purple.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: By their very nature, the emotions are unable to work well when one or two of their group is missing and are required for the proper response, and they know this. The biggest problem is that none of the emotions are able to operate the console in any way other than the emotion they embody. For example, Anger cannot cause happy stimuli in Riley; he can only work with Joy to put Riley in a position that Joy can create it. During the family dinner scene, Anger and Disgust's attempts to fill in for Joy only result in hollow, sarcastic comments from Riley about how she's fine, while Fear's just comes out as a Suspiciously Specific Denial.
  • Curtains Match the Window: The female emotions (Joy, Sadness, and Disgust). Fear can be considered a mild example, as his single hair strand is also purple, like his eyes. Except for Joy, the emotions' eye and hair color also matches their skin color.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The negative emotions are just as helpful and vital as the positive ones. It's the lesson of the film, in fact.
  • Freudian Trio: The remaining emotions - Anger is Id, Disgust is Ego and Fear is Superego. But Joy would be also be Id and Sadness would also be Superego.
  • Meaningful Name: Seeing as they're literally emotions, they're named after, well, what they are.
  • The Needless: There's always one emotion that stays up all night for Dream Duty, and Joy and Sadness go the entirety of the movie—roughly three days—without needing to stop and rest, and not looking or acting any different from not doing so. In addition, the closest we see to any of them eating or drinking is Fear drinking tea a couple times (the first time the TripleDent Gum jingle is sent up, and when he's sent to do Dream Duty, plus during the introduction of one of the extra videos) and Joy reaching for some of Bing Bong's candy tears and licking her fingers after pole-vaulting with a French Fry.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: All of them are easy enough to predict, considering that besides a few universal feelings (such as boredom) they will always fully act in accordance with their emotion, as long as Riley's actively feeling the emotion in question. For instance, Anger will be angry in almost every single scene he appears in, because he usually appears when she's angry; when she stops being angry, he wanders off, uninterested. To that end, Joy finally breaking down in tears in the Memory Dump comes across so strongly in part because before then, there was little to no indication that it was even possible for her to feel sad.
  • Royal "We": While controlling Riley, the emotions tend to refer to themselves as "we" and "us", instead of "I" and "me".
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: When in Headquarters, they can see what Riley sees.
  • Sharing a Body: They live together inside Riley's mind (though not her physical brain) and help guide her.
  • The Team: Almost hitting the Five-Man Band dynamics. Joy is clearly The Leader, dominating most of Riley's memories and running headquarters. Anger is The Big Guy as he's stout, aggressive, and has a weaponized ability in his hotheadedness. Fear is The Smart Guy, doing research about things to be cautious of as they approach new situations. Sadness and Disgust trade off on The Chick and The Lancer: Disgust is a cynical foil to Joy's relentless optimism, and seemingly Number Two, while Sadness is the least active, but most empathetic character. Alternatively, Joy and Sadness are obviously direct opposites and Disgust is the most stereo-typically feminine in a vain fashion conscious way. Bing Bong is the Sixth Ranger as the only main character who isn't a core emotion, a latecomer in the story, and intentionally left out of promotional materials for maximum shock value.
  • True Companions: They are close like a family and really care for each other and for Riley.
  • Undying Loyalty: Towards Riley, being born from and a part of her mind.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Judging from the reaction that Joy and Sadness had from their trek through the Subconscious, it would seem that all the emotions are scared of the same things that Riley is, including broccoli, her grandmother's vacuum cleaner, and clowns.

    Joy 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6af4a6760fd094087bd0d363829796ee.jpg
"Think positive!"
Voiced by: Amy Poehler

Joy's goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy. She is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation. Joy sees challenges in Riley's life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. As long as Riley is happy, so is Joy. Word of God states that her performance model is a star.


  • Black and White Insanity: Downplayed, but in Joy's mind, Happiness=Good and Sadness=Bad (perhaps Justified, as she is only eleven). Most of the movie is about her growing out of this attitude.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Her hair is blue and she's the protagonist.
  • Break the Cutie: Gets hit with this hard when she lands in the memory dump. Once she finds an old memory of how Riley used to stick her tongue out when she drew, as well as the core memory Sadness created, she just falls apart.
    Joy: I just wanted Riley to be happy, and now... [begins to cry]
  • Character Development: Joy learns that endless happiness isn't always the solution.
  • Control Freak: Joy's the boss in Riley's mind, and she places herself in charge of everything in HQ. More subtly, all the core memories are shown to be joy memories, which she - not to brag - takes considerable pride in. Considering those are the foundation of who Riley is, that means she alone was controlling who Riley is which comes to bite back afterwards, since without her there is absolutely nothing to fuel the core memories, causing them to fall apart. While the events of the movie do demonstrate that Joy plays an essential part in Riley's consciousness, the lesson she comes to learn is that it's okay and even necessary for her to step back from time to time and let the others take control.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • She is accustomed to happiness, and ONLY happiness, and as such she has a tough time with things not related to it, especially Sadness (her polar opposite). Her being unable to deal with sadness is what actually kicks the plot.
    • In another way, she is the only one to even make core memories. The crippling bit comes when she is away and the other emotions can't sustain them, causing Riley's personality to crumble. Literally.
  • Deconstruction: Of always attempting to be happy and optimistic like a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Sometimes it just isn't what's best for you.
  • Determinator: Joy will never give up trying to do what she thinks is best for Riley, and is not one to stay in a Heroic B.S.O.D. for long.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Of all the emotions, she's the only one who goes barefoot, probably to add to the 'down to earth' and carefree feel she portrays.
  • Double Consciousness: Possibly unintentional, but there are subtle indications that the reason Joy is such a Control Freak in Headquarters is that she feels she is living her life through Riley, or at very least wants to; for example, in two different scenes she is shown mimicking Riley's movements while watching her ice-skating.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: How she first appears.
  • Fingerless Hands: More like Toeless Feet; Joy has fingers but no toes. This might apply to the other emotions, but they at least wear shoes.
  • Foil: To Sadness. Their journey is about learning the importance of happiness and sadness.
  • For Happiness: Her life goal is to keep Riley happy.
  • Fun Personified: She is the personification of happiness, after all.
  • Genki Girl: Even the way she moves around is very flighty and energetic, full of prancing, twirling, and dancing.
  • Glad I Thought of It: She has a moment of this with Sadness's suggestion to wake Riley up (though to her credit, when they've woken her up and are on the train back to Headquarters, she does congratulate Sadness for the idea).
  • The Hedonist: At first; she is being Innocently Insensitive to Sadness and her role in Riley's life, thinking she isn't needed. Of course, being Joy personified, she'd think that. At the end of the film, she realizes that Sadness is her equal and should be treated as such, given she was the only one who could fix Riley's depression.
  • Heel Realization: Has one near the end, when she realizes all her efforts to keep Riley happy in the short term have caused far more harm than good.
  • Hidden Depths: At least in the art book where we see what her room looks like. Along with having a window to a "Happy Place" modeled after Belle's house, there are a myriad of drawings on the wall, including one of her doing ballet and another labeled as "Me & Mom". With this combined with such actions as her miming Riley's ice skating, it's entirely possible that Joy secretly has Pinocchio Syndrome.
  • Hope Bringer: It is implied throughout the movie that the emotions do more than allow Riley to feel but are also the foundation of more complex mental states. In this instance Joy is the foundation for hope demonstrated by the fact that Joy keeps trying to look on the bright side of things and believes that every cloud has a silver lining.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Her obsession with keeping Riley happy at all times causes her to unintentionally mistreat Sadness.
  • It's All About Me: Rather mild case, but still there. Joy always wants Riley to be happy, so essentially she always wants Riley to focus on her. The conflict of the film is kicked off when Sadness creates a new core memory, which Joy is so opposed to that she yanks it out before it can generate a Personality Island and tries to send it to the Memory Dump, thus leading to the rest being knocked loose and being sucked through the tube. Also, if you look closely, all the core memories have been created by her.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Joy gives control of Riley over to Sadness near the end, considering her sense of proprietorship over Riley for most of the film.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's inconsiderate of Sadness and somewhat selfish, but she truly does want the best for Riley. She finally becomes a straight-up Nice Girl as she quickly apologize to Sadness for her selfishness and willing to help Riley get back to her family for her wellbeing with Sadness's help.
  • Lack of Empathy: Joy has a mild case of this. She's no sociopath and does care about others' well-being, but has a very hard time expressing it properly. She's unable to understand why Sadness keeps bringing up the destruction of Bing-Bong's "rocket" since he's clearly unhappy about it, and in Joy's mind unhappy is automatically bad. She simply doesn't realize (yet) that Sadness' empathy with Bing-Bong over his loss actually makes him feel better about it in the long run.
  • Magic Skirt: Her one-piece dress stays at knee level at all times, even when she's plummeting into the memory dump from a shattered recall tube. There is one aversion during the rocket escape, and there seems to be either censor steam or coding error under the skirt. Justified, however, since she is an emotion and lives in Riley's mind, so the laws of physics don't really apply to either her or her dress.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: She is perpetually cheerful, excited, and upbeat, and is determined to make Riley the same.
  • My Beloved Smother: She clearly loves Riley like a mother would and only wants to ensure her happiness. But this prevents Riley from gaining emotional maturity.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the Memory Dump, when she realizes that Sadness is a very important emotion and that Joy's actions have left Riley feeling emotionally lopsided and unable to cope with such a big change.
  • Never My Fault: After she first meets Bing Bong, Joy implies that she blames Sadness for getting them lost in Long Term Memory, in spite of the fact that Joy trying to get rid of the sad core memory was what got them there in the first place.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Joy's behavior kicks off the loss of the core memories and the displacement of her and Sadness from headquarters. Things only get better when she allows Sadness to take control when necessary.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Specifically designed to resemble Audrey Hepburn, down to her signature "pixie" haircut.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Unique among the emotions in that her hair and eyes don't match her skin color.
  • Oh, Crap!: When a Sad Core Memory is formed, Joy all-but freaks out and immediately purges it.
  • Perpetual Smiler: For most of the film, in contrast to her foil, Sadness, who is a Perpetual Frowner.
  • Phosphor-Essence: She glows in a blueish light (in spite of her yellow palette), being the only emotion to do so.
  • The Pollyanna: Not only is she perpetually happy, she's determined to keep Riley happy 24/7. This is deconstructed as her Pollyanna tendencies can be more myopic than beneficial.
  • The Protagonist: The primary one, as the film focuses on her development and the need to not always be happy.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The extroverted, enthusiastic Red Oni to Sadness' withdrawn Blue Oni.
  • Stepford Smiler: Though Joy is upbeat and optimistic of making Riley happy all the time, there are several instances where it's quite clear Joy is doing this to bury the sadness within herself. Every time that Riley experiences something depressing or disappointing, Joy becomes more and more desperate to make her happy at all costs, which continues even after she and Sadness get stranded outside of headquarters and witness the destruction of Riley's personality places. It's only when she falls in the Memory Dump with little to no chance of escape that she falls into despair, crying for the first time. And it's that moment she realizes the importance of Sadness.
  • Supporting Protagonist: She's the main character of the film, but she and the other emotions are there for the sake of helping Riley.
  • Token Good Teammate: Perceives herself as this. Though she's able to put all the others except Sadness to good use, she's averse to any of the others actually driving and creating feelings or memories.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Her character development also leads to her treating Sadness with equal respect and losing her It's All About Me flaw.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She wants Riley to be happy, but this is at the cost of risking her becoming a Stepford Smiler who can't handle her other emotions.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Heights appear to be among the few things that throw Joy off her upbeat game.

    Sadness 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a4ef8650da15cce4e92eeeb88b67d8f4.jpg
"Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems."
Voiced by: Phyllis Smith

None of the other Emotions really understand what Sadness' role is. Sadness would love to be more optimistic and helpful in keeping Riley happy, but she finds it so hard to be positive. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do is just lie on the floor and have a good cry. Word of God states that her performance model is a teardrop.


  • Accentuate the Negative: This is her default state of being. When Joy brings up several examples of happy memories, Sadness can without fail provide a negative counterpart.
  • Adorkable: Her rather awkward attempts to be accepted and understood by the other emotions only make her more endearing.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Downplayed. The other emotions don't hate Sadness, but don't know how she helps Riley, since her taking control only hurts Riley from their point of view.
  • Apologizes a Lot: She apologizes almost every time she does anything, or anytime someone talks to her.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Her skin and hair are blue and she's the deuteragonist.
  • Bookworm: The big glasses emphasize this. She likes reading the countless manuals on the shelf that contain all the information about how to do their jobs and how the mind works, something the other emotions are implied to find rather boring. Sadness is able to navigate her and Joy through Long-Term Memory just from reading the manuals alone.
  • Butt-Monkey: Usually gets mistreated by Joy and gets blamed for everything that goes wrong.
  • Cassandra Truth: She keeps touching Riley's happy memories because she feels that there's something wrong with them even though Joy and the others keep trying to stop her. Turns out that Sadness is doing so because she's the only one that implicitly understands that Riley is hurting and needs to signal that she needs help.
  • The Corruption: The reason the other emotions keep her away from the memory capsules after the move: she can turn them into sad ones. Turns out this was a symptom of Riley missing Minnesota, and therefore part of Sadness' job.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Blue eyes, blue hair.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Towards Joy's exuberant behavior.
    Joy: Think positive!
    Sadness: Okay. I'm positive you're gonna get lost in there.
  • Deuteragonist: She's been Riley's longest living emotion other than Joy. The plot inside the mind involves both her and Joy getting back to HQ, and Joy's Character Development is realizing the benefits of having her around.
  • The Eeyore: Always extremely negative and woeful. Most of the time, she just wants to lie on the floor and cry.
  • The Empath: Like Joy, Sadness is a foundation for more complex mental processes. It is implied by the film that sadness forms the foundation for empathy by allowing people to recognize the pain in each other and also allow them to feel pain themselves. Without sadness Riley is incapable of regret or remorse.
  • Extreme Doormat: She just lets Joy walk all over her and treat her as the source of all of Riley's emotional troubles. Her occasional protest indicates she isn't completely unaware of the mistreatment.
  • Fisher King: To a mild extent: a cloud she sits on turns dark and starts pouring rain.
  • Foil: To Joy. Their journey is about learning the importance of happiness and sadness.
  • Fragile Flower: Being the embodiment of sadness, naturally she's very sensitive.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: She allows people to sympathize with Riley so she can be even happier, as well as gives her breathing space to mourn.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • She proves to be a bit more clever than Joy gives her credit for, considering she knows the manuals by heart and suggests many solutions to their problems when they are outside Headquarters.
    • Her role as an emotion is made clear by the end: she is gifted with empathy and knows when to call on others if Riley needs help.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: She does look a little like Phyllis Smith, coincidentally.
  • Leitmotif: Sad tuba or bass clarinet. Once she and Joy are out of Headquarters, it gets replaced with vibraphone and piano.
  • Meganekko: The only emotion in Riley's head to have glasses, and they fit with her withdrawn personality.
  • The Millstone: At first, it seems like all she does is screw up Joy's hard work keeping Riley happy. In the end, it turns out both Joy and Sadness are equally important to Riley.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Feels awful about all the trouble she brings for Riley, even though she does not understand why she does what she does. (The Driven by Emotions novelization suggests that the core memories are calling out to her and want her to touch them, and she only wants to do what they want. "At least, that's how I felt. Didn't that mean it was true?")
  • Nice Girl: Probably the nicest emotion, as she is nothing but emphatic, caring, humble, polite and understanding.
  • Ocular Gushers: Her reaction to Joy offering her a flower in this trailer. Also gets a case of them when she's floating away from Joy on a raincloud through Imagination Land.
  • Perpetual Frowner: As her role implies, she's perpetually sad. She gets better near the end.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The withdrawn Blue Oni to Joy's extroverted, enthusiastic Red Oni. She's even colored blue!
  • The Sacred Darkness: By the end of the film.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: She's very withdrawn and mopey, and has blue hair.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Sadness becomes more cheerful with knowing her purpose: Empathy.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: No one knows the positive benefits of Sadness' job, even Sadness herself, hence why Joy wants to repress her throughout most of the movie.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sadness gives Joy a brief, pleading one when Joy tries to stop the sad core memory.
  • When She Smiles: On the rare occasions she does smile, it's very cute and touching.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A pun on "looking blue".

    Anger 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/29aeb814ff7c2b59a2c5a565abab3cbb.jpg
"Congratulations, San Francisco! You've ruined pizza!"
Voiced by: Lewis Black

Anger feels very passionately about making sure things are fair for Riley. He has a fiery spirit and tends to explode (literally) when things don't go as planned. He is quick to overreact and has little patience for life's imperfections. Word of God states that his performance model is a firebrick.


  • Berserk Button: Many things drive Anger mad, but Triple Dent Gum's Ear Worm commercial jingle is the worst.
    Anger: DID I ASK FOR THE GUM COMMERCIAL?!?
  • Burning with Anger: He has a tendency to do this when things heat up.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: While he's usually bald, when he gets really mad, he gets fire "hair" that's just as red as his eyes.
  • The Cynic: He also reflects the pessimism in Riley's mind. Unlike Sadness, the negatives he accentuates tend to be in the future or the present, as opposed to reflections on the past. For example, his "Mom bad news train", or his prediction of how Riley's first day of school is going to go.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: According to Lewis Black's trailer, Anger only does his actions 'because he really cares.' While Anger does assist Riley, especially in moments that require quick thinking and audacity, he can accidentally make things worse.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To a lesser extent (and less subtly) than Disgust, implying that anger is the secondary foundation for sarcasm.
  • Determinator: Like the other emotions, Anger is the foundation for more complex mental processes. It is implied that anger is the foundation for courage, fortitude, confidence, and being willing and able to take Refuge in Audacity. This can be seen by the fact that he is constantly pushing Fear around and he acts decisively (if rashly) without hesitation.
    Anger: Time to take action.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He's the most willing to take extreme action, yet defers to Riley's mother just like the other emotions. After a bad first day of living in San Francisco, he's the one to tell Joy to back off and let the others work the console because he sees no reason for Riley to be happy. However, once Riley's Mom asks Riley to stay happy for her father's sake, Anger is the first one to voice his support with this change of events. Later on, when he puts the idea to run away into Riley's head, he changes his mind after Riley's mom calls twice, though by then it's out of his hands.
  • Fiery Redhead: In a literal way.
  • Flaming Hair: When he gets really angry, fire comes out of his head, giving the impression of hair.
  • Grumpy Bear: Being Riley's personification of anger means he's usually in a bad mood.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Being anger personified, it's part of his job.
  • Hates Being Touched: Do not touch him unless you want to be punched or burned.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he's very irritable, he cares about Riley just as much as the other emotions; his outbursts are triggered when he feels Riley has been treated unfairly in some way.
  • Meta Casting: Just a straight adaptation of Lewis Black's stage persona, even using his love of cursing as much as possible in a family film. Quite a few of his mannerisms are also lifted from the way Black performs, such as ending a statement through gritted teeth or using a very forceful finger point.
    Anger: We should lock the door and scream that curse word we know! It's a good one!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Realizing he went too far when Riley gets far in running away.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's his failure to keep his temper under control and then go wild with the control panel that causes the islands to fall apart and eventually convince Riley to run away.
  • The Napoleon: The shortest of Riley's emotions, with a short fuse to match.
  • Perpetual Frowner: You wouldn't expect the personification of anger to be smiling a lot.
  • Playing with Fire: The fire that comes out of his head when he lets it loose is real, and Disgust uses it to punch a hole in Headquarters' window and let Joy and Sadness back in.
  • Red Is Heroic: His skin is red and is one of the heroes.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Fear's Sensitive Guy.
  • Serious Business: As his quote indicates, almost anything that goes wrong causes immediate wrath, no matter how trivial.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: He wishes he could use curse words, but he never gets a chance to say any. When the new console is installed, he is delighted by the library of curse words he now has access to. This takes on a meta example as his voice actor is the famous comedian Lewis Black, who is very fond of swearing in his standup routine.
  • Slasher Smile: When he does smile, it's a fairly evil grin.
  • Tame His Anger: One of the bonus videos has the rest of the emotions giving him anger management lessons. Fear ends up throttled by the neck.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Downplayed. While's he not evil, he's the most hot-tempered of the emotions and often beats up Fear.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: During the second half, he becomes one. While he is well-intentioned, it's his ideas that lead to the unintended destruction of the islands (making Joy and Sadness' journey back all the harder), and eventually almost causes Riley to become a runaway.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's the one to insert the idea of running away from home to return to Minnesota, because he has no idea how to fix what's happening to Riley's mind and sees going back as a hard fix for the situation. Upon seeing that it's just splintering Riley further, he recognizes his mistake and tries to stop it, but it's too late.

    Disgust 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/53dbbe7b9022035dcf8811445b36b288.png
"When I'm through, Riley will look so good, all the other kids will look at their own outfits and barf."
Voiced by: Mindy Kaling

Disgust is highly opinionated, extremely honest, and prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. She keeps a careful eye on the people, places and things that Riley comes into contact with, whether it's broccoli or last year's fashion trend. Disgust always has the best of intentions and refuses to lower her standards. Word of God states that her performance model is broccoli.


  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Wears the letter D on her belt.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of her defining traits, and it transfers into Riley when she's in control, which implies that disgust is the primary foundation for sarcasm:
    Disgust: [in response to Joy showing the rest of the emotions a slideshow of potential new homes for Riley, one being a gingerbread house] Joy, for the last time, she cannot live in a cookie.
  • Everybody Has Standards: Even though she agreed with Anger when he suggested running away, she was against his idea of stealing Mom's credit card.
    Disgust: A [bus] ticket costs money. How do we get money?
    Anger: Mom's purse.
    Disgust: [gasps] You wouldn't.
  • The Fashionista: Because of her impeccable taste, she's usually in charge of helping Riley decide what to wear.
    Disgust: When I'm through, Riley will look so good, the other kids will look at their own outfits and barf.
  • Green and Mean: Downplayed, she's not evil, but she wears green, her hair and skin are green, and she's rather snotty.
  • Grumpy Bear: She's not very cheerful, is she?
  • Hartman Hips: More noticeable due to her tendency to sway her hips while moving and stand with one hip out.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Her attitude when she agrees with Anger's idea to run away. She shows no pleasure in doing this, but agrees because she felt it was right for Riley.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Of the Lovable Alpha Bitch flavor. She's snotty and snarky, giving off a snooty Valley Girl vibe (sans accent), but exists as more of a defense system against potentially hazardous things, genuinely regards the other emotions as friends, and wants what's best for Riley.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Supports Anger's plan to run away and go back to Minnesota, but later, like Anger, realizes that it was a horrible mistake.
  • The Perfectionist: Disgust is described as having high expectations and low patience.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Her typical delivery, which is transferred to Riley when she's in charge.
  • Shown Their Work: Disgust at first seems to be a somewhat random emotion choice to be hanging around the likes of Joy, Sadness, Anger and Fear. It turns out, however, that disgust is actually listed as one of the six basic emotions in psychology.note 
  • Sickly Green Glow: Her main color is green after all.
  • Skirt over Slacks: She wears dark green leggings under her dress.
  • The Social Expert: Like the other emotions, Disgust is responsible for more complex mental processes as well as her base emotion. She has a fantastic understanding of other people, leading to her being the most aware of how to act in certain situations in order for the ideal outcome (i.e. frustrating Anger to the point his head spews flames and then using them to melt through the glass of Headquarters and get Joy and Sadness back inside).
  • Valley Girl: She's this and so much more thanks to deciding what's hot and what's not.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: She has a weak stomach, and anything even the slightest bit gross will make her gag (too bad it doesn't happen much in the movie proper...).
  • You Are What You Hate: It's pretty amusing that she was modeled after broccoli, seeing as her first appearance has her freak out over the stuff.

    Fear 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fa2ca1d06e8e91502987fedf57dd7dd8.png
"All right, we did not die today. I call that an unqualified success!"
Voiced by: Bill Hader

Fear's main job is to protect Riley and keep her safe. He is constantly on the lookout for potential disasters, and spends time evaluating the possible dangers, pitfalls and risk involved in Riley's everyday activities. There are very few activities and events that Fear does not find to be dangerous and possibly fatal. Word of God states that his performance model is a raw nerve.


  • Adorkable: He's cute when he's scared, which is often. It helps that he is The Smart Guy of Riley's emotions, which adds a bit of a nerdy charm to him.
  • Amusing Injuries: Getting his butt set on fire by Anger, whacking himself with a crowbar, etc.
  • Butt-Monkey: When he isn't getting abused by Anger, he gets hurt through random chance.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Originally Bill Hader had the idea that Fear secretly had a huge crush on Disgust, who still thought boys were gross, but it distracted too much from the real plot of the movie. There are still hints of it remaining, such as her noticing the new 'Puberty' alarm, and them sharing a Core Memory for Tragic Vampire Romance Novels.
  • Caustic Critic: When he's assigned to dream duty in Joy and Sadness' absence, it turns out he's quite sardonic in regards to the quality of the dreams he sees. The Driven by Emotions Novelization goes into more detail on this: Dream Productions can't produce anything that's as terrifying as what he can think up, so he actually finds their work "relaxing viewing".
  • The Comically Serious: Every potential disaster he can think of, such as a meteor hitting the school, is a serious concern to him.
  • Composite Character: In a meta way. The characters were initially based off of Paul Ekman's theory of six basic emotions: joy, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and surprise. However, the director felt that fear and surprise were too similar and combined both traits into the Fear character.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's so used to the Dream Productions videos that he snarks about the quality and content.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: To the extent that when Anger knocks him away during the hockey tryouts, they remain behind and float down like feathers. Also, in one of the extra videos, Fear has a Glass Smack and Slide against the screen. His eyebrows follow in a second or so.
  • Expressive Hair: His one strand of hair springs upwards or droops down, depending on how frightened or upset he is. Toward the end of the film, it even curls into a heart to reflect his happy mood.
  • Lovable Coward: He's afraid of everything, panics easily, and tries to run away when things get really bad. Yet he gets along with the other emotions, and his job is to keep Riley safe.
  • Lovable Nerd: It wasn't if Pete Doctor wanted Fear to look nerdy as Bill Hader thought of him as the middle man archetype. But typically, he has a personality that is awkward and neurotic, has a scrawny physique and his attire is a blue dress-pants, black dress-shoes and sweater vest with a bowtie. All nerdy traits for Fear.
  • Made of Iron: Almost nothing seems to permanently injure him, which is a good thing given what he's put through.
  • Nervous Wreck: Very nervous and jumpy, as his job is to evaluate any possible danger for Riley and he sees danger everywhere. The exception is when Anger sarcastically suggests that Riley can get back to Minnesota by renting an elephant to ride, Fear likes the notion.
  • Only Sane Man: Of the three remaining emotions, he's the one to realize that running away is a bad idea, but the other two overrule him. This is an indicator that, like the others, Fear is the basis for more complex emotions: caution, forethought, and stress.
  • Properly Paranoid: The amount of abuse he's shown to take, from things hitting him through random chance to Anger beating on him, makes it hard to fault him for being so jumpy. In addition, his Establishing Character Moment shows him using his foresight in a constructive manner while Disgust's and Anger's are more jokes at their expense.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Anger's Manly Man.
  • Skewed Priorities: On his list of potential disasters to befall Riley in class on her first day of school, he lists "getting called on by the teacher" third. The first two items on his list are "quicksand" and "spontaneous combustion".
  • Special Person, Normal Name: In the early drafts where Joy and Fear got lost, Fear wasn't named Fear (the other emotions had human names as well, as mentioned above). His name was Freddie, as noted in the Blu-Ray bonus disc's deleted scene sketch introductions.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Fear is afraid of everything (except elephants, it seems), but clowns are one of Riley's subconscious phobias, so he particularly dreads them.

    Bing Bong 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6a631879b934c7b49903e08aa7d2b7d8.png
"Who's your friend who likes to play?
"Bing Bong, Bing Bong..."
Voiced by: Richard Kind

Bing Bong is Riley's old imaginary friend. Part cat, elephant, dolphin, and sugary pink cotton candy with a nougat center, Bing Bong isn't the brightest, but full of cheer. He wears a hobo outfit, reflecting the fact Riley no longer plays with him.


  • Act of True Love: He pulls a Heroic Sacrifice when his rocket cannot carry both him and Joy out of the Memory Dump. He does this so Joy can pull Riley out of her Heroic B.S.O.D., despite it meaning Cessation of Existence for him.
  • Big Fun: Hes big, friendly and fun loving.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Well before he appears in the movie proper, one of the clips from Riley's childhood is her drawing a picture of him on the wall and singing his theme song.
  • Death by Newbery Medal: A variation where he is no longer part of Riley's conscious life prior to the film, and his dying is part of symbolizing the completion of Riley's emotional maturity.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He could tell from his faded arm that he would fade away in short order. Rather than continue trying until there was nothing left of him, he used his last moments to give Joy hope that they could succeed, knowing she would never abandon him willingly. Listen to his voice when he suggests another go; it's a tone of resignation to his fate.
  • Fading Away: After being stranded in the Memory Dump, he dies by slowly fading out of existence.
  • Famous Last Words: "Take her to the moon for me, okay?"
  • Foil: To Joy, as both embody happier times for Riley (Joy being, well, Joy, and Bing Bong being her childhood imaginary friend). Between the two, it is Bing Bong who learns to grieve first. While Bing Bong realizes that he will disappear as Riley continues to grow, Joy learns that making Riley happy doesn't have to mean her being happy all the time, and develops to accommodate new kinds of emotions.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Literally. He's never mentioned again after he fades in the Memory Dump, causing Riley to forget about him permanently.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Unspoken, but he senses that his departure will be the best for Riley and he takes his "death" in stride.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Wears nothing but a vest, bow tie, fingerless gloves, and a bowler hat.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: When his rocket is thrown in the dump, signifying Riley is beginning to forget about him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Chooses to stay behind in the Memory Dump so that Joy can escape on his rocket.
  • Imaginary Friend: He was Riley's imaginary friend when she was younger.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: He's not the brightest, but he's very nice and he does his best to help Joy and Sadness get back to Headquarters. The simpleton part is justified in that he stopped being developed by Riley very early into her childhood after she more or less forgot about him, while the other aspects of Riley's mind have been developed for 11 years.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: He's part elephant, part cat, part cotton candy, and can squeal like a dolphin. Justified in that he was created by and exists in the mind of an imaginative young girl.
    Bing Bong: You gotta remember when Riley was three, animals were all the rage. The cow goes "Moo." The horse goes "Neigh." That's all people talked about that day.
  • Nice Hat: A little black bowler hat.
  • Nice Guy: He's sweet-natured, and is willing to pull off a Heroic Sacrifice to let Joy get out of the Memory Dump.
  • Never Learned to Read: He can't read at all aside from identifying letters, which gets him, Joy and Sadness into trouble when he leads them into an area that says "Danger" which he insists is a shortcut. Justified because Riley created him when she was a toddler, before she could read.
  • Ocular Gushers: He cries streams of candy when he's upset.
  • One Last Song: Mixed with Death Song — he sings his little ditty with Joy before he disappears forever. Justified because that ditty powers the rocket that Joy is using to escape the Memory Dump.
  • Sad Clown: Despite having been all-but forgotten, Bing Bong remains hopeful that Riley will remember him and copes with his situation by stealing happy memories and telling jokes.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Only seen in one or two trailers and rarely featured in promotional materials (such as Kellogg's Inside Out fruit snacks), despite playing a major role in the film.
  • Stock Animal Diet: In real life, elephants love sugar. Bing Bong cries candy and loves caramel the best.
  • Sweet Tooth: He suggests Joy and Sadness help themselves to his candy tears when he starts crying, specifically the caramels.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Not Bing Bong himself, but his wagon is powered by singing the song Riley made up about him as a toddler.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Riley, hence why he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save her from her depression.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's very hard to talk about his role in the film without spoiling certain key events.

    The Forgetters (Paula and Bobby) 
Voiced by: Paula Poundstone, Bobby Moynihan

A pair of jellybean-like people whose job it is to clear out and dump old memories that Riley no longer needs. Joy and Sadness meet them in the long-term memory storage corridors.


    Jangles the Clown 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jangles.png
"WHO'S THE BIRTHDAY GIRL?!?"

Voiced by: Josh Cooley

One of Riley's worst fears, a clown that was hired for a cousin's birthday party (according to the Driven by Emotions Novelization). He sleeps in the Subconscious, the locked area that contains all the things Riley is afraid of.


  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: He positively towers over Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong.
  • Ax-Crazy: When he wakes up and hears about a birthday party (actually a Batman Gambit by Joy and Sadness to get them out of the Subconscious dungeon), he immediately starts smashing through everything in his way to get to it.
  • Cardboard Prison: He tears through the door to Riley's subconscious like it's made of wet paper.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Who's the birthday girl?"
  • Drop the Hammer: His giant mallet can smash through the doors of the Subconscious in a single hit.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Unusually for a Monster Clown, his voice is very deep. This is because Riley remembers the real Jangles as a big monster. In real life, his voice isn't frightening at all.
  • Green Eyes: Both his sclerae and irises are green, adding to his frightening appearance.
  • Hidden Depths: During the credits, his real world counterpart's emotions lament that he spent six years of drama school to end up in a dead-end job.
  • Large Ham: Being a clown, he loves to overact.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The scene where he appears gets any and all lightheartedness sucked out of it once he's woken up, and although he no longer plays a part in the film before the credits afterwards, his part in waking Riley up kicks off the serious third act of the film where Anger gets Riley to run away.
  • Monster Clown: He's enormous, crazy, very loud, and carries a giant wooden mallet. The real Jangles is more of a Non-Ironic Clown who is NOT fond of his job.
  • No Inside Voice: This guy SHOUTS most of his lines.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: What he is outside of Riley's mind, with his Emotions being depressed over his line of work.
  • Obliviously Evil: He surprisingly doesn't come off as all that malicious, just really excited about getting to be at birthday parties and with no idea how scary others find him.
  • invokedRon the Death Eater: In real life, he's just a normal clown. But Riley's fear of clown (if not just him) demonize him in her mind.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He's asleep at the bottom of the Subconscious until Joy and Sadness let him loose to scare Riley awake. This backfires when it convinces the other Emotions to make Riley run away.
  • Sweet Tooth: He eats Bing Bong's candy tears, and the resultant path of discarded wrappers leads Joy and Sadness to the two of them.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His unique hairstyle is made even more unnatural by its blue color.

    The Imaginary Boyfriend 

A representation of, well, Riley's imaginary boyfriend. He's "created" in Imagination Land.


  • Broken Record: "I would die for Riley! I would die for Riley! I would die for Riley! I would die for Riley!" His only other line (aside from "For Riley!") is to explain that he's from Canada.
  • Catch-Phrase: "I would die for Riley." Or just "For Riley".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Appears briefly when Joy and Sadness are in Imagination Land, but doesn't become important until Riley is running away and succumbing to depression.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: By his own admission!
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Given what happens to everything that falls into the Memory Dump, he and his copies do indeed die for Riley.
  • Me's a Crowd: In the climax, Joy clones him as many times as the machine will allow and builds a giant tower from them as part of her plan to help get herself and Sadness back to Headquarters.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Invoked. He's based on Riley's idea of a handsome boy.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Word of God says his appearance is based on Harry Styles. This also subtly explains where Riley's interest in boy bands came from.
  • Not So Different: From Bing Bong. They represent different stages of Riley's life, but both want to do what's best for her, and are willing to make sacrifices if that's what will help her.
  • Pretty Boy: Looks as though he stepped out of a boy band (which he kind of did).
  • Undying Loyalty: Parodied. He would die for Riley!

Other Characters

    Mr. Andersen's Emotions 
Voiced by: Pete Docter (Anger), Carlos Alazraqui (Fear), Josh Cooley (Sadness), Patrick Seitz (Joy, the alarm)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/inside_out_father_headquarters.jpg

"Good job, gentlemen! That could have been a disaster!"
Mr. Andersen's Anger

A set of five emotions that reside in Mr. Andersen's mind. Their Headquarters is designed after a man cave. They're led by Anger.


  • Ascended Extra: They're the protagonists of Riley's First Date?
  • Badass Mustache: All of them have one, even the supposedly female emotions.
  • Bumbling Dad: They are the ones who cause Mr. Andersen to be this in the dinner scene, since they were busy daydreaming about sports in the middle of family dinner and conversation.
  • Burning with Anger: Anger often averts this. Even if he's annoyed with Riley's disrespectful attitude, he keeps his cool and delivers a firm response rather than overreacting. He does, however, flare up when he interprets Jordan as "backtalking" to them.
  • Creator Cameo: Dad's Anger is voiced by the movie's director, Pete Docter.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: It's the reason they "put the foot down". It's probably a good thing they did, since Riley was being ruled by her Anger at the time. Note that two most positive emotions among them, Joy and Sadness, don't oppose this decision and in fact fully support it.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Joy, who notably has breasts (or perhaps man-breasts) and a slender feminine body, but is still clearly male. Besides having a mustache, his voice sounds masculine when he cheer on along with other emotions. This applies to Sadness and Disgust to a lesser extent.
  • Generation Xerox: All of them look identical to Riley's emotions, except for uniforms and mustaches, and the fact that they're all males. Also, it's worth noting that Joy and Sadness sit side by side.
  • Go to Your Room!: They make Mr. Andersen "put the foot down" and say this to Riley after she's dominated by her Anger.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • The aforementioned full face paint is Anger's idea.
    • Fear is the second-in-command and is almost as firm as Anger, a stark contrast with Riley's Fear who is occasionally abused by her Anger and mocked by her Disgust.
    • Joy doesn't oppose Anger (and by extension, Mr. Andersen)'s firm decision to "put the foot down". Also, unlike Riley's Joy, this Joy doesn't seem to act solely for happiness.
    • Along with fellow emotions, Sadness likes watching sports and looks pretty enthusiastic about it.
  • The Leader: Anger, with Fear as his Number Two.
  • Leitmotif: Military drum cadence, appropriate for their headquarters' resemblance to an army station.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Dad's emotions treat "putting the foot down" as if they were launching a nuke, with Fear and Disgust removing the safety caps off locks before inserting and turning launch keys in sync. They consider sending Riley to her room be a great dramatic success and celebrate when the reality of the situation is much more muted.
    • In Riley's First Date?, every action towards Jordan is treated like a war battle decision, eventually culminating in "giving the boot" (Alarm, security belts and big scary lever).
  • The Napoleon: Just like other characters' emotions, Anger. But this Anger is also the leader.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The "dinner scene" trailer implies they might have secondary (or tertiary) role, but in the actual film, they only have two scenes: said dinner scene and a brief heartwarming gag at the ending.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Other characters' emotions (except Riley's and Mrs. Andersen's) look like their human (and animal) hosts, but these men look nothing like Mr. Andersen, sans the mustache and uniform.
  • Overprotective Dad: They immediately take a disliking to Jordan in Riley's First Date?
    Dad's Anger: I know what you're doing here, Jordan. You don't think that I know what you know, but I know, you little punk!
    Dad's Fear: He's not good enough for Riley! No one is!
    Dad's Sadness: Go back to jail!
    Dad's Anger: What are you looking for, Jordan? Something to steal?
    Dad's Sadness: Like our daughter.
  • Rated M for Manly: They are designed with mustaches and their Headquarters is a high-tech man cave/war room/nuclear submarine's bridge.
  • The So-Called Coward: Despite personifying fear, Fear doesn't much act the part. The only time he looks scared (or startled) in the movie is when Anger wants to "put the foot down", but Fear fully supports this decision. He's more visibly hesitant in Riley's First Date? when he's about to pull the lever to "Give [Jordan] The Boot," but that's it.
  • Tempting Fate: "Good job, Gentlemen! That could've been a disaster!" No, Anger, Mom's emotions all agree that that already was a disaster.
  • Toilet Humor: In the scene where Riley's family is eating dinner, one of the excuses that Anger gives for Riley's mom trying to get his attention is leaving the toilet seat up.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: They activate "the foot" in this fashion.
  • The Voiceless: Beyond cheering alongside the others in both the movie and the short, his Joy and Disgust are the only emotions of his (or his family) to not get a line of dialogue. This doesn't help the Viewer Gender Confusion. (At least Sadness has a distinctly male voice in the short.)

    Mrs. Andersen's Emotions 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pow6qwr3wg.jpg
Voiced by: Lori Alan (Sadness), Sherry Lynn (Joy), Paula Pell (Anger), Laraine Newman (Fear), Mona Marshall (Disgust, film), Sherry Lynn (Disgust, Riley's First Date?)

"Well, that was a disaster."
Mrs. Andersen's Sadness

A set of five emotions that reside in Mrs. Andersen's mind. Their Headquarters is designed after female oriented talk shows. They're led by Sadness.


  • Contralto of Danger: Anger has a deep, yet still clearly feminine, voice. Fittingly, she personifies Mrs. Andersen's subdued anger.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Mrs. Andersen's Anger deliberately invokes a variant of this for herself and the others after Mr. Andersen botches the conversation; they start running a memory of a handsome Brazilian helicopter pilot that Mrs. Andersen apparently used to be involved with.
  • Generation Xerox: All of them wear outfits which are similar with Riley's emotions', with little differences. Sadness wears a sweater, Joy and Disgust wear sleeveless dresses, Anger wears a collar shirt, and Fear wears a shirt with sweater vest. Also, it's worth noting that Joy and Sadness sit side by side.
  • Good Parents: Sadness is quick to pick up on the fact that something's wrong with Riley and make Mrs. Andersen to recognize it. The other emotions agree.
  • Hidden Depths: Sadness is The Leader.
  • The Leader: Sadness is in charge here.
  • Meganekko: Each of them wears a pair of red-framed glasses.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Same as Mr. Andersen's emotions above.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Other characters' emotions (except Riley's and Mr. Andersen's) look like their human (and animal) hosts, but these women have more varied physical features. The only two similarities they have with Mrs. Andersen are their brown hair and that they wear glasses.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Sadness fondly describes Mr. Andersen as a "really good guy" and the other emotions agree.
  • Team Mom: Sadness. She's also their leader. Notably, this foreshadows that one of Sadness' important roles is empathy, as she is the one to first pick up on Riley's emotional problems.
  • Tsundere: Anger and Disgust appear to be this toward Mr. Andersen.
    • In the movie proper:
    Disgust: He's making that stupid face again.
    Anger: I could strangle him right now!
    • In the short:
    Disgust: He's making that stupid face again.
    Anger: Ugh, should we slap him?
  • When She Smiles: Mrs. Andersen's Anger is notably the only Anger in the film who is seen genuinely smiling.
  • Women Are Wiser: Compared to Mr. Andersen's emotions, they have a softer and more loving personality.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Everyone's reaction upon Mr. Andersen's lack of response on their daughter's problem. Sadness even quotes the trope verbatim.

    Jordan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maxresdefault3.jpg
Voiced by: Ben Cox

Jordan is a young boy that Riley bumps into at the end of the movie. He makes another appearance in Riley's First Date?.


  • Adorkable: Cemented at his reaction when meeting Riley — utterly speechless and his emotions go into instant panic.
  • Ascended Extra: A minor character in the movie, but becomes a major one in the short.
  • Birds of a Feather: In Riley's First Date, he and Riley's father bond over a being in a band and a similar interest in music.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: He's completely dumbstruck when Riley talks to him for the first time at the end of the movie.
  • The Ditz: He seems quite spacey and scatterbrained. His mental headquarters is extremely disorganized, with the floor covered in stray memory spheres, all the emotions doing their own thing instead of working the control panel, and about a dozen flatscreen TVs playing different cartoons at once.
  • Flat "What.": Upon learning that Riley's Dad is also a fan of AC/DC.
  • Hidden Depths: Like Riley's father, Jordan is an AC/DC fan.
  • Mellow Fellow: Jordan is a fairly laid back individual.
  • Nice Hat: A blue cap.
  • Red Alert: When he bumps into Riley, his Mental World is shown with flashing red lights, warning signs, and a klaxon blaring "GIRL!" as his emotions panic.
  • The Voiceless: Has no lines in the film. Mostly because he doesn't know what to say to Riley.

    Jordan's Emotions 
Voiced by: Bill Hader (Joy), Flea (Fear)

Jordan's Fear: Hey! What's he looking at?
Jordan's Joy: Prolly your dumb hat. Hahaha.

A set of five Emotions that reside in Jordan's head. They appear briefly at the end movie and in Riley's First Date?. Their Headquarters is a disorganized skate park with multiple speakers and TV screens laid against the wall. The leader of Jordan's Emotions is Fear, who seems more inclined to stand up for himself than some other Fears.


  • Cannot Talk to Women: Jordan's inability to say anything to Riley translates to them running in circles and panicking while a klaxon alarm blares in the background, "GIRL! GIRL! GIRL!"
  • Chaotic Stupid: Their lack of supervision over the console serves to make Jordan rather scatter-brained. Only Fear seems to be paying any attention at all.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like Riley's Joy, Jordan's Joy doesn't wear shoes, as seen when he's sitting on the control panel.
  • The Hedonist: Jordan's Emotions seem to take every opportunity to goof off and have fun - of course, they are the Emotions of a pre-teen boy.
  • Jerkass: Jordan's Joy makes fun of Fear's hat - despite all five sharing the same hat.
  • The Lad-ette: When Jordan's Disgust boards by and laughs at Fear and Joy fighting, you see she is significantly more shapely than his other emotions, and wears lipstick (unlike Bill's Disgust). However she too is goofing off and skateboarding.
  • Nice Hat: They all have Jordan's curly hair and blue baseball cap.
  • No-Sell: The fact that Jordan's Fear isn't cowardly may be the reason why Jordan is unconcerned with Mr. Andersen's Overprotective Dad attitude.
  • Stealth Pun: A brief look into Jordan's Headquarters reveals the emotions are mostly goofing off, to the extent that nobody seems to actually be at the console. In other words, Jordan is absent-minded. His memory orbs are in disarray and all over the place as an indication that he's scatter-brained as well. Each of his memory orbs also has one monochromatic color, suggesting that Jordan is still emotionally immature.
  • The So-Called Coward: Jordan's Fear isn't a coward like Riley's Fear. He's ready to stand up for himself, and simply more cautious and attentive than Jordan's other emotions, which is why he's in charge.
  • Trash of the Titans: They really shouldn't be skateboarding with all their memory orbs rolling across the floor...
  • Troubled Fetal Position: When Jordan bumps into Riley, his Fear is shown huddled on the floor in terror, rocking back and forth.
  • You Can Panic Now: Everyone goes into complete panic when Jordan bumps into Riley.

    Meg 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/inside_out_meg_milk.jpg
Voiced by: Paris Van Dyke

Riley's best friend from Minnesota, and the forward of the Prairie Dogs. Even after Riley moves to San Francisco, they continue to chat via the Internet until Riley cuts her off during the course of the movie.


  • Childhood Friends: Has been best friends with Meg since they were toddlers.
  • Hair Decorations: As seen in the picture, Meg wears a yellow hairband.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When video chatting with Riley after the latter moves, she starts talking about how cool the new girl on the team is and how well they play together. Riley, still sans Joy and Sadness at this point, takes this to mean she's been replaced as Meg's friend.
  • Redhead In Green: She has curly, red hair is seen wearing a green sweater and glasses.
  • Satellite Character: She only serves as Riley's best friend.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her talking about how great a hockey player a new girl is in front of Riley only drives the latter further into depression.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What became of her, as well as her relationship with Riley, is left unclear by the film's end.

Top