Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic Recs / Inside Out

Go To

Proof that the remaining 10% is worth getting lost in the mind for here.

These are recommendations made by Tropers for Inside Out fanfics, all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but remember to use the template found here.

You can also add to the current recommendations if you want. Refrain from posting Conversation in the Main Page though; that goes in the discussion page.


Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

Inner Nature by UntoldStories113

  • Status: Complete
  • Recommended by: Warrior Sparrow.
  • Synopsis: It wasn't always easy being part of Riley. Neither was being there for her. (Written pre-movie. Each chapter features a different Emotion.)
  • Comments: A really well-written introspective on each emotion.

Intercom by PotterPhantomKitten

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: Toa_Aerrow, Eric W, flarn2006, Con Man 1226
  • Synopsis: Sometimes everyone hears a little voice in their head—a conscience, a guide, always there to give subtle advice but never to converse. But when an accident occurs in Headquarters, the "little voice" suddenly becomes five for Riley. Five that she can directly communicate with. And such encounters with the world inside her head can cause Riley's life to change, both inside and out.
  • Advertisement:
  • Now has its own page.
  • Comments: This fic...this fic is many different things. It's the longest fic on exclusively about Inside Out. It's the most reviewed fic on in the same category. It's a radical shift in the premise of the world of Inside Out. But what it is above all else is an ambitious take on creating a sequel fic in the same vein as Pixar means for sequels to be: taking old characters and ideas in new directions. Envisioned by its author as being like Toy Story 3 for how it handles itself, this is a fantastic story that every fan of Inside Out should read at least once.

Radiant also by PotterPhantomKitten

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: Toa_Aerrow
  • Synopsis: AU. Created by the Emotion Council as a transfer being from their world to the human world, Riley, aka RI, is an 11-year-old girl who appears as human as any other. But she is part emotion, and loves her non-human world too much to leave. And her best friend is the joy she's received since even before being brought to life. T for thematic elements and Starnerve.

Bitterness by cartuneslover17

  • Status: Complete
  • Recommended by: Warrior Sparrow
  • Synopsis: (AU fanfic) She could only imagine how Fear, Anger, and Disgust would react to her newfound feelings. None of them would ever expect the most mellow of the emotions to verbally tear the happiest. But Sadness was through being a pushover, and Joy needed to stop being such a happy thorn in Riley's palm.
  • Comments: A great little fanfic that highlights the importance of Sadness.
    • Being AU, the author can get away with some...pretty different views on some of the characters. Also, the fact that it's only 1 chapter long means it ends on a pretty harsh note all things said. If only the author was willing to develop the idea more. =(

Finding Riley by yourbiassed

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: Pren
  • Synopsis: High school is hard for any teenager, but for Riley Anderson, this is the understatement of a lifetime. All she wants is to make a change, but in order to do so she must first come to terms with herself. Though there are sure to be a few bullies on the way, Riley will always have her emotions behind her, even if she doesn't know it. Thus, the life of a butchandrogyne transgender.
  • Comments: A highly thoughtful and emotional exploration of the fan theory that Riley is non-cis, not pulling any punches regarding how painful such a personal revelation can be.

Job Well Done by Rassilon 001

  • Status: Complete
  • Recommended by: Omeganian
  • Synopsis: Happy days turned into happy years turned into a happy life. But now it's all said and done, and the emotions have to move on. It's time to say farewell.

Outside In by CaptainAperture

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: Warrior Sparrow
  • Synopsis: Ever since Riley was born, Joy has always secretly yearned to be human. When she manages to get her wish, it's now up to Riley to traverse her ever-shifting mindscape to find a way to talk to the emotion in control of her body and get things back to normal before the line between her and Joy blurs too far...
  • Comments: It seems someone saw my request for someone to fanfic the idea that Joy wants to be Riley on the WMG page, and it is done fantastically so far. Despite only being one chapter in, it's already setting up to be a great premise.

False Alarm by KQSimply

  • Status: Complete
  • Recommended by: Springertrap
  • Synopsis: June, a childhood friend of Riley Andersen's, possesses five Emotions who help her assess and respond to life's situations. They love their bright, talented girl. Of them, however, no one is more observant, nor cares more for June's well-being, than Fear, who reluctantly controls and monitors her every move.
  • Comments: While one might at first suspect this is just Inside Out with the character's switched up, it becomes clear very quickly that it most certainly is not. This story tells it's own tale about June, a very shy girl, and her emotions, as they go through her anxiety attacks, the struggles of everyday life, and the devastating results of her brother becoming ill. Seeing how June deals with all of these is both very relatable and heart-wrenching, as is seeing how her emotions, especially Fear, try to deal with it.

The Dream Must Go On! by cartuneslover17

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: Warrior Sparrow
  • Synopsis: After Sadness saves Riley, the emotions know it'll be a long healing process. But having each other, they know they can pull through. When Sadness is suddenly given a rare opportunity, the others encourage her to take it. However, relationships will be tested. For both Sadness and Riley. And there it becomes realized that the past isn't always easy to let go. Or be forgiven.
  • Comments: It's refreshing to see a fic that focuses on Sadness directly after she helped save Riley, and the author does a great job at portraying that. Only one chapter in, and the story already seems to promise being a great expansion of Sadness's character and her importance in Riley's healing process.

Emotional Response by PotterPhantomKitten

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: G0vnah
  • Synopsis: In 2012, my emotions first learned of the Pixar film that would become Inside Out. What follows is excitement, paranoia from Fear that grows worse as the film progresses, and a "hype level" from Joy that the others have to constantly rein in. An "Inside Out emotion review" story inspired by Steveles' "An Inside Look At Inside Out".
  • Comments: Both this fanfic (and its inspiration) take the concept of emotions and apply it to the authors' own experiences while learning of and watching the film... and that's the diverging point. The distinction is like the difference between black coffee and one with sugar and milk. Whereas the fic that inspired Emotional Response focuses less on the author's mind and has a distinctly cynical bite to it, Emotional Response doesn't look like it will shy from exploring the author's mind, and feels much sweeter altogether (plus, her first chapter has her browsing TvTropes the entire time, which is pretty awesome). If you're into meta tropes, this (and perhaps its inspiration) might be the fanfic for you.

Emotional Sonnets by Plot Twist the Pegasus

  • Status: Complete
  • Recommended by: G0vnah
  • Synopsis: Each of the emotions write a sonnet, describing who they are. Just a quick fic.
  • Comments: A very short read, but a good one nonetheless. It's exactly what it sounds like. Now, I'm not well-versed in poetry, so I wouldn't know if these actually follow the rules of sonnets and match the standard structure. Nonetheless, it's a fun read that explores a theme of each emotion reflecting on how they help Riley... wrapping it up nicely with a sonnet about Riley herself, and a bonus poem about Bing-Bong! In short; a nice, adorable little read if you've got a few minutes to kill.

Subconscious and Passing On by KQSimply

  • Status: Subconscious is complete, Passing On is dormant
  • Recommended by: Dork 12
  • Synopses:
    • Synopsis for Subconscious: When Riley witnesses a tragic accident one day, Joy enlists Fear to help banish the Memory to the Subconscious, unaware of the consequences. Fear is forced from Headquarters as a result of unknowingly suppressing himself along with Riley's mental trauma, leaving the remaining Emotions in a race against time to keep Riley safe in his place.
    • Synopsis for Passing On: After losing her battle with a terminal illness at the age of 13, Riley Andersen wakes up a year later and learns her spirit now resides inside the head of her newborn sister. She determines to be the essence that shines behind her sibling's eyes, to prove to the world that she never really left. A feat she simply cannot do without a little help from some new, unexpected friends.
  • Comments: Both stories are beautifully written and tug hard on the heartstrings. The first gives us a frightening look at what might happen in the mind of someone who tries to repress their memories, while the second is an interesting and very bittersweet take on the ‘Riley meets her emotions’ type stories. Bring tissues for both.

Out Of Place by Coffee Fueled Author

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: Con Man 1226
  • Synopsis: A young girl feels like her mind has been numbed, and she begins to blame it on the mysterious figures appearing around the house.
  • Comments: For reasons that remain unexplained, the emotions have been ejected from Riley's mind and exist as incredibly tiny versions of themselves in the real world. Riley is left barely functioning without her emotions, but she manages to find Fear and agrees to help look for the rest of them. The interaction between Riley and her minuscule emotions is spot on. Both fun and suspenseful, Out Of Place is a must-read for any Inside Out fan

In Sight, Out Of Mind by Emotional Flight

  • Status: Dead (last updated April 2017)
  • Recommended by: Nausicaa of the Spirits
  • Synopsis: Riley has run away, Joy has been forgotten, and Sadness and Bing Bong have come up with a plan. There's more to being an imaginary friend than poking around Long Term Memory, after all. Meanwhile, Joy has an in-body experience, and Disgust leaves Headquarters to find her coworkers. A Movie AU.

Stories that cross this franchise with other franchises.

Empathy and Unity by Finmonster

  • Recommended by: Red-Dead-Redeemer, Eric W, Treguard
  • Crossover with: Big Hero 6, Home, The Incredibles, Despicable Me and Monsters vs. Aliens
  • Status:
    • Empathy: Complete
    • Unity: Ongoing
  • Synopsis:
    • Empathy: Moving to a new city has been hard for Riley Andersen, but when she starts making new friends, it begins to get better. But new friends brings new, tragic problems. Now Riley and her friends have to learn how to deal with these changes, learn to trust their feelings and discover strengths they never knew they had.
    • Unity: Months have passed since the Second Battle of San Fransokyo, and the newly christened Big Hero 9 have settled into the routine of being the city's local superhero. But when a new villain with his eye on not just them, but all the world's superheroes comes knocking, the rookie heroes will have to team up with heroes new and old to take him down. Sequel to Empathy.
  • Comments: By the author of other big crossover fics such as the Mega Crossover universe he created in The Dragon and the Bow. Also, despite the large number of crossovers, most of these are more implied in the backstory or with a Cameo in the dialog. Nonetheless, this gives the universe a sense of depth and mythos that slowly is revealed over the course of the fic. On the other hand, it's also something of a Fusion Fic, combining the end of Inside Out with the middle of Home and Big Hero 6.
  • Pairings: Hiro/Riley, Tadashi/Honey Lemon, Go Go/Wasabi

Whose Mind is it, Anyway? by Steveles and Name That Mind! by ErineMilne

  • Recommended by Volvagia 423, and G0vnah
  • Crossover with Various.
  • Status: Complete, Dormant (last updated April 2018)
  • Synopsis for "Whose Mind is it, Anyway?": Hello there! Do you want to play a game, a guessing game? Can you figure out whose mind I'm describing in each chapter? There's no telling what characters I'll use or what events I'm choosing! It could be from any movie, book, play, animation, or anything at all! The possibilities are huge! Rated T because there may be some darker situations later on. TEMPORARILY ON HIATUS
    • Comment: Though it's not a cohesive story, it comes off as pretty astute and occasionally fun with what the equivalent headspaces of different characters might look like if filtered through Inside Out's visual ideas. - Volvagia 423
  • Synopsis for: "Name That Mind": Everybody's got emotions controlling them. Even your favorite fictional characters. But what exactly is going on behind the scenes there? That's what this reveals, but don't think I'm going to make it easy for you. This is a game - a guessing game! Credit to Steveles for creating the original idea - go check out his game fic!
    • Comment: I'm super happy to see this "Guessing Game" genre spreading; it strikes me as a neat way to explore the world of "Inside Out" without relying on over-tread plots or focusing strictly on the characters from the film proper. - G0vnah

The Least by Anime Wolf Girl 16

  • Recommended by fruitstripegum
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with Batman
  • Synopsis: She was the least used emotion and she had accepted it a long time ago. Until one day changed all that.

Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

Anger and Joy fluffs by xXCrossArrowXx

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: roroapop12
  • Synopsis: I will post my Anger and Joy fics here.
  • Comments: As the title suggests, it is a series of drabbles for the relationship of Joy and Anger.

The Princess and the Dork by TheOneAndOnly1993

  • Status: Dormant
  • Recommended by: Merlin Of Kensington
  • Synopsis: Though it's been days since Riley almost ran away, all of her Emotions are still greatly affected by what happened. When Fear makes a decision that shocks everybody, feelings begin to surface as they try to grapple with the changes suddenly impacting their lives, and the mistakes that they made.
  • Comments: A very well-written fic about the relationship between Fear and Disgust. The story is rich with character development for both focal characters and tensions (most notably from Joy and Anger) that will keep readers eager to see the coming conflicts unfold.

Figured You Out by Breech Loader

  • Status: Complete
  • Recommended by: Tightwire
  • Pairing: Anger/Disgust
  • Synopsis: The Emotions in Jordan's head are hitting puberty. After Disgust teases Anger one day, they end up tangling on the couch that night, and Ira handles Dee a bit roughly while Jordan is asleep...
  • Comments: As a raunchy third-base one-shot, this fic no more family-friendly than the Nickelback song it's written to, but excellently choreographed as a Song Fic. Tensions rise between Anger and Disgust in this teenage boy's head, and Anger does a bit of what he does best - act without thinking. Thanks to the emotions involved, it's not tender, it's not sappy - and it gets pretty rough.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: