Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fridge / Inside Out

Go To

Fridge Logic for Inside Out.

    open/close all folders 

     Fridge Brilliance 

Fridge Brilliance

Pixar Film
  • Riley's love of cats is a common quirk for girls and children alike, however it's likely this stems from some voice clips used during her childhood sequence which were recycled from Mary (Whom we all know as Boo in Monsters, Inc.). After all, what was Boo's favorite word? "KITTY!"
  • The trailer portrays Anger as the one calling the shots inside Riley's father. However, for the most part he consults with and issues orders to Fear and only Fear. Makes sense considering that anger is the emotion that takes charge when we're nervous and desperate to power our way out of a situation.
    • Anger and Fear being in charge of Riley's Dad also makes sense given that the move appears to have been motivated by a new job and he's understandably worried about making sure that everything works out both for his family and his business. He's stressed, essentially, and Anger (Frustration) + Fear (Worry) = Stress.
    • It is also likely that Anger and Fear were simply the main things on his mind at the time because of work. It's shown in various scenes that the emotions of the adult characters work together more harmoniously than children's. Dad's Joy and Sadness, for example, were likely the ones heading the console when he went up to Riley's room later to try cheering her up with the monkey act.
    • It seems more likely that he was annoyed, and that's why Anger was in control. Mom did interrupt his sports daydreaming after all.
      • On the other hand, Anger was in center position during the daydreaming itself- which you'd think would be when Dad's Joy would be taking the lead...
    • Notice that when Dad 'puts the foot down,' Anger gives the order, but Fear and Disgust are the ones that turn the Two-Keyed Lock. The joke of Mundane Made Awesome aside, it shows he's not just doing it out of anger, it has all the other emotions checking it as the appropriate answer. Fear having one key makes perfect sense, because having to use heavy forms of punishments means there've been mistakes, so it's worried about something being wrong in their relationship, and also Fear is the one in charge of evaluating hazards, so he will literally the last one who will be convinced that's a good decision, and by having him in charge of it means doing it only when they are absolutely sure of it. Disgust might seem a random choice, unless you remember she's also in charge of social interactions: she has the key because she's the one considering how it will affect his relationship with his family, and that's not harmful to it.
    • Also, though the dad's anger being in charge probably makes you say "uh-oh," again, you'll notice that putting the foot down is a big production with that two-key lock. Acting on his anger is something he's very slow to do; it's careful and controlled, and only done when he feels it's absolutely necessary. We'd all do good to have that kind of control on our temper, and it's one who has his anger as a dominant emotion who needs to do this.
    • In the first couple of minutes, we learn that Anger's useful trait is that 'he cares deeply about things being fair', while Fear is all about safety. Riley's emotions all revolve mostly around her, because she's still a kid. Some of the points above make it sound like Anger being dad's primary emotion means he has anger management issues or that it's temporary because he's stressed, but from what we see of his behavior, he cares about fairness and has a competitive streak. Dad's Anger, being the emotion of an adult, is more nuanced than just caring about what's fair to himself.
    • Don't forget that if there's one thing Anger, Fear and Disgust share, it's that all three of them share a duty to protect: from unfairness, from danger, from whatever's undesirable. Riley's dad is a protective father and husband, who willingly accepts the burden of stress upon himself if that's what it takes to ensure his family's welfare.
    • It's also a bit of Fridge Brilliance in that America (and many other western countries), society unfortunately teaches men that the only acceptable emotion they can express is anger. Showing sadness or fear is considered "weak" and "un-masculine". Likewise women are often socialized to be empathetic (sadness), nurturing, and to put others' feelings and well-being ahead of their own. And who leads the emotions in Riley's Mom's mind? Sadness, of course! Riley's Mom is also the first to notice when Riley is behaving strangely and that her daughter is upset about something.
  • While Riley's emotions behave fairly literally, resulting in chaos, her parents' emotions are more subdued and manage to not run away with their titles. Adults generally have better control over their emotions than children and teenagers do.
    • In addition, Riley's emotion act immaturely because Riley herself is immature. Her parents' emotions are more balanced, but as a reflection of a particular individual, they still aren't flawless; since Riley's traditionally masculine father is the disciplinarian, he (and his emotions) fail to notice at first that punishing Riley may not have been the best course of action, whereas Riley's mother (and her emotions) are more perceptive.
  • The control panel inside Riley's mind is considerably smaller than those inside her parents' minds. Perhaps this is because Riley is only a preteen, and therefore doesn't have as much knowledge of ways of responding to situations as do her parents. Hence, her "control buttons" are fairly limited. In fact, at the beginning of the movie, shortly after Riley is born, there exists a single button on her "control panel".
    • This is reinforced at the end of the movie, where the control panel gets upgraded.
    • On a related note, Riley's control panel is small enough that only a single emotion can be in control at a time, whereas the adult panels are large enough to accommodate all of their emotions. Accordingly, Riley's emotions tend to grab the controls from one another and act unilaterally, while the adult emotions work in concert. This tends to reflect that kids generally focus (and act) on one emotion at a time, whereas adults are better at factoring in input from multiple different emotions and coming up with a more complex solution.
      • Even Riley's age-eleven control panel is far more sophisticated than the one-button pylon that Joy and Sadness argued over when she was a newborn. Children at least have different levels of happiness, worry, revulsion, etc.; babies' emotions are more of an all-or-nothing affair. When an infant gets angry it throws a furious tantrum, when it's sad it wails in misery, when it's happy it squeals exuberantly, and so on.
    • Pay attention to Dad's memories - they aren't just different colours, but also lots of different shades, so Riley has development in that manner too - her Sadness can learn to be in charge without bursting into tears all the time.
  • The Mind Manual that Joy gives to Sadness to read near the beginning of the movie is on "Core Memory Relocation", which becomes a major plot point later in the movie.
    • Adult emotions share a lot of similarities with each other and their person, showing commonality and integration. The emotions of the children are more diverse and varied, as the child has not learned to 'control' the emotion and make it her own.
  • When Anger gives Riley the idea to run away from home, the Train of Thought inside her mind ends up collapsing. That's because Riley isn't thinking straight anymore. It literally derails, which is a vivid metaphor for when such ideas cause unstable reactions.
    • One might say she's lost her train of thought, and that's why she isn't thinking straight anymore.
    • This relates to when the console turns grey and cannot be used when Riley is running away. She is, quite literally, emotionally shut down. Talk about the most depressing Stealth Pun ever!
  • Bing Bong's Heroic Sacrifice, when he realizes he's weighing down the wagon and preventing Joy from escaping the pit. Riley's emotions were literally being weighed down by her past.
    • And it goes even deeper: what got Riley in trouble was that their emotions couldn't work with each other, which was shown to be how it works for adults. Bing Bong is the spirit of childhood, and Riley needed to dump it.
    • Bing Bong also embodies imagination, and the wish-fulfilment longing of a young child for the ideal playmate. What is Riley's urge to return to Minnesota, if not another wish-fulfilment fantasy: the obsessive notion that hopping on a bus will offer a quick-fix solution to her pain? She needs to give up her use of fantasy to dodge her distress and confront it for real, by telling her parents how bad she feels.
  • All of Riley's emotions also represent different aspects of her personality:
    • Joy is the most prominent emotion because Riley is usually a happy girl. Joy preventing Sadness from doing anything also reflects Riley's belief that she should never be sad for her parents' sake.
    • Sadness barely gets to do anything since Riley is almost never sad. This stems from Riley believing she should be happy all the time.
    • Disgust is a little snotty, but she's ultimately nice. Riley isn't bratty at all.
    • Anger isn't quite as nasty as you'd expect someone like him to be, since Riley doesn't get angry very often. When Riley tries to run away from home, it's because it came from her anger.
    • Fear represents Riley's common sense, as he's the only emotion who's opposed to Riley running away.
  • In the trailers, it's Riley's mother's Anger that brings up the helicopter pilot the most. Makes sense considering Anger is associated with Passion.
    • Also with frustration that things aren't ideal. Riley's mom has idealized the helicopter pilot into the "fantasy mate" she could've had if life were kinder to her.
    • Note that all of Mom's emotions get equally dreamy-eyed as they're watching the memory of the pilot. They probably all have their own reasons for liking the idea of him: Mom-Joy because he'd do things to please her, Mom-Fear because he looks muscular and could use his strength to protect her, Mom-Anger because being with him would be a fair reward for all the crap she's been dealing with from the move, Mom-Disgust because she's annoyed with her husband just now and the pilot lacks the flaws her annoyance throws into sharp relief in Dad, and Mom-Sadness because she did marry someone else and thus lost her chance with him, making for some nicely-romantic melodrama.
  • When Bing Bong offhandedly mentions there isn't much use for him, Joy says she'll make Riley remember him. This suggests that Joy is not reflective or intuitive, as happiness and contentment doesn't encourage us to reflect on life.
  • Bing Bong fades so fast in the dump because he was already forgotten by Riley's conscious memory. This makes it permanent.
  • The scene where Joy suggests pizza to distract Riley from feeling sad her father has been called away by work demonstrates a person's coping mechanisms.
  • When Joy tries to cheer Bing Bong up, her actions reflect Riley's parents futile attempts to cheer her up, including the "everything will be ok" line and the fact that Joy tries to do Goofball actions like Riley's Dad. It's of course, ineffective simply because it's done to jump-start happiness rather than really validates someone's sadness.
    • And this is why Sadness actually can help Bing Bong to a certain extent; because the positive side of Sadness is Empathy, the capacity to feel bad for other people's suffering. Joy eventually comes to the same conclusion when she pays more attention to the Joyful Memory and sees the events that lead to that Memory were caused by Riley's parents empathy and support on their child.
  • The title of the movie, "Inside Out", makes perfect sense: The emotions are on the inside making decisions on how a person feels and how said feelings are expressed on the outside.
    • Alternatively, Riley's world is changing from the inside out.
  • Joy's Heel Realization that by neglecting certain emotions, Riley cannot learn what they are for and thus doesn't know how to react when it manifests. Because Joy keeps her happy all the time, she is rarely sad, and when she gets upset she just bounces back almost immediately. Thus when they start reminiscing about Minnesota in school, Riley starts to get upset since she misses it and all the things it contained. What happens in her mind is exactly what starts happening when you get depressed; it isn't just about being sad, but emotionally shutting down to the bare minimum.
  • Anger's idea: He reasons that since the core memories were created in Minnesota, he can create new ones there too. Fear realizes that this would entail running away from home, and her family in order to be happy. In actuality, the motions of running away destroys Honesty Island and it is only after it starts to destroy Family Island that Anger realizes the idiotic nature of the plan. But think about it, most irrational thoughts are due to us feeling angry about something. Anger is portrayed as a literal hotheaded emotion - prone to making rash decisions!
  • Riley's Mom's emotions are led by Sadness, Riley's Dad's are led by Anger. As we see by the end of the film, the positive aspect of Sadness is empathy, and the (sort-of) positive aspect of Anger is protectiveness. The Mom's Sadness driven emotions are not just worry, but also the ability to empathise, and the Dad's Anger ruled emotions aren't just stress, but a protective nature.
    • This is more likely a situational thing. We see in Riley that the emotion that the person is feeling controls the console, and in adults, it appears that all emotions contribute while the dominant one in a particular situation appears to be the leader. And during the events of the movie, Riley's Dad is preoccupied with job and moving screw ups (we hear him on the phone having to go in to work to fix problems, and the moving van somehow got stuck in Texas going from Minnesota to California), while Riley's Mom has to deal with a frustrated husband, a depressed kid, and a disappointingly-empty house. Of course Anger is running Dad and Sadness is running Mom!
  • At one point, Fear attempted to "quit" his job by summoning the same memory tube that sucked out Joy and Sadness. But instead of taking him up, the tube simply clogs with all the memory orbs, green, red, purple, and tosses him down. It can be said that Riley's mind unconsciously rejected his departure because he is the counterbalance to all the negative actions Disgust and Anger were causing ( he did oppose the running away plan.)
  • The emotions are shocked when they see Sadness turning happy memories into sad ones, something that had never happened before and the other emotions do not replicate. Conveniently, this follows Riley's first move from her old home town, upsetting the status quo of her life in a way she regrets; and nothing about the experience would cause Fear, Disgust or Anger to influence her existing memories in that fashion, thus showing why they don't cause similar changes.
  • So Riley's main emotion at the start is Joy, which makes sense because she's a Cheerful Child. But her dad's main emotion is Anger, while her mom's main emotion is Sadness. Depressing, right? Not necessarily! Riley's parents' emotions have more complex control boards—they can all press buttons and control their human, as opposed to just one emotion at a time being in control like in Riley's head. And at the end, when the emotions in Riley's head realize emotions are complex, they, too, get a more complex control board where they all have a say. Sadness is her mom's primary emotion and Anger is her dad's primary emotion right now, because of the move. But, eventually, we can assume that this'll pass, they'll adjust, and other emotions will get a chance to take control.
    • Additionally, while Riley's emotions switch out having total control, her mom & dad's act more like a unified council. So, while a bad thing happening would switch Riley from total joy to total something else, her parents' emotions wouldn't change quite as much in the same situation, because they have more experience handling tough situations.
    • Alternatively, the leader of a person's emotions is determined by their individual personalities, which may or may not be connected to the affiliation of the Islands of Personality. Mrs. Andersen's strongest personality trait, as far as can be told, is empathy, so her Sadness takes the lead (and has a visible effect on the other emotions - they pick up on what's going through Mr. Andersen's head pretty quickly, and they operate as a council, as noted above). Mr. Andersen, on the other hand, is primarily an authority figure in both his family and, presumably, his job. His Anger takes charge in an effort to make things fair, and to assert control if things aren't fair or his authority is challenged (he takes perceived disrespect very seriously). This is also reflected in the arrangement of his headquarters: everyone has a seat at the control panel, and each relies on the others for the group to function, but there's a definite hierarchy present.
    • I think it's a reflection of a person's basic temperament/personality: whichever emotion is the first to manifest for an individual is a reflection of their fundamental temperament, and the leader of that person's emotions (though, as pointed out above, the emotions also get better at working together as a person matures). Joy is the first emotion to manifest in Riley's mind, because her temperament naturally runs to the cheerful side of the emotional spectrum- that's how the genetic dice rolled for her. Other individuals have different temperaments, and their leading emotion was presumably the first one to manifest in their minds.
    • The most responsible of Jordan's Emotions seems to be his Fear, who additionally stands up for himself when Jordan's Joy jokes at him. Naturally a coward (the way Riley's Fear sank to) wouldn't be taking charge. So maybe this makes Jordan a pretty cautious, defensive kid, perhaps with a low self-esteem. And if he's a daydreamer and kind of scatter-brained, what pre-teen boy isn't?
  • If you look in the background during Riley's hockey tournament, you'll see a sign that says "Tri-County Youth Hockey". Yep, this film not only was set in the same setting as Toy Story but also confirms that Toy Story took place in San Francisco.
    • While the easter-egg is no doubt intentional, it should be noted in the interest of accuracy that the use of "Tri-County Area" as a term isn't limited to San Francisco, and is in fact pretty common throughout the US; it's simply a term for any area where a series of civic / administrative functions might be spread over three county areas, or where three major civic areas might start to blend together a bit. Detroit, for example, has a 'tri-county area' (Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties). So it's not necessarily concrete proof that the two movies are set in the exact same place.
    • Another thing is that there are easily at least three counties in the Bay Area within very close distance to one another. The three largest cities in the area are already in three different counties; San Francisco (which is its own city-county), Oakland (Alameda County), and San Jose (Santa Clara County).
  • Looking at the end; how the core memories have become a blend of different colors as opposed to single color spheres they were formerly, of course a child growing up eventually starts to feel more complicated and mixed emotions; but this also perfectly illustrates something else - namely a maturing viewpoint on things. Riley now comprehends both the bad aspects of moving as well as the good that would eventually come and everything in-between; to see the world from a Black-and-White Morality and slowly growing into seeing a Graying Morality.
  • This movie has a very good metaphor for depression - and it's not Sadness. It's when the console (almost) shuts down entirely so that none of the other emotions can affect it. Sadness affecting Riley's memories ends up helping her deal with her issues so she can feel other emotions again. Depression doesn't help you deal with things, it makes you feel like you're stuck and unable to feel things properly.
    • On that note; pay attention to the order the islands collapse in after Joy, Sadness and the Core Memories. The first to collapse into the memory dump is Goofball Island, making Riley lose pleasure in life, which is a common sign of depression, the inability to take pleasure in anything. Friendship is next to fall as Riley walls herself away from her friends back home, again another symptom of depression. Hockey is third, one of the major things that made Riley happy. Honesty goes next because of how Riley is bottling everything away to the point that she'd run away rather than face what's troubling her head on. Family, arguably the strongest, is last to fall, once again symbolic of how depression affects the relationships that are strongest.
      • Mind you, Family Island is actually the first one to get damaged - it visibly shakes and crumbles because of the kitchen argument, right after Riley gets to her room.
    • Also of interest is the fact that when Riley gets depressed she isn't able to feel Joy or Sadness. What does she feel instead? Anger, Fear and Disgust, all of which paint a much clearer picture of what depression actually feels like.
  • Who gives Riley the idea to run away, resulting in Riley showing classic symptoms of depression such as being emotionally shut down? Anger. A common cause for depression is anger turning inward and not having a healthy way of expressing itself.
  • If you understand basic psychology, Riley's emotional state going downhill after the move makes perfect sense. Each of her Core Memories at the beginning were powered by just one emotion; Joy. Without the other emotions being able to create one partially thanks to Joy's determination to keep Riley happy, Riley didn't have the ability to cope with such a huge change.
    • Also, the other emotions plan to go back instead of making new core memories on the spot is because, having Joy made all the previous ones, they don't really know how it's done.
  • The very first appearance of Sadness foreshadows the ending. She shows up moments after Riley's birth and makes her cry, cuing irritation from Joy, who has been enjoying the happiness she created in Riley previously and doesn't understand what Sadness' job is other than to be a huge buzzkill. She doesn't realize the purpose of a baby's cry: to alert her parents to her needs and to make sure she's fed. If Joy had understood the role of Sadness from the beginning, much of the film's disaster might have been avoided!
    • And why doesn't Joy understand Sadness' purpose when she can see those of Disgust, Fear and Anger? Because they include actions. Actions to keep yourself from poisoned such as avoiding eating food that seems suspect or paying attention to your clothing, actions to avoid getting into danger or getting hurt such as stopping before a power cord to not trip in it, actions to fight perceived injustice such as yelling or physical fight. Whereas Sadness? The only actions she can make Riley do is start crying, talk about how she feels which the emotions already know, or mope around, and all can be seen as not actions of their own but ways to make others act to fix what is wrong. (Until the events of the movie that is.)
  • "It's a shortcut, you see? D-A-N-G-E-R—shortcut!" Bing Bong, by his own admission, was created by Riley at a time when she was learning about basic concepts such as animals—and letters. Hence, he recognizes individual letters but can't read words!
  • All of the emotions have a single color scheme, except for Joy. Instead of hair in the bright yellow color normally associated with that emotion, she inexplicably shares Sadness's blue hair. This is foreshadows the climactic reveal that many of Riley's most joyful memories still have a touch of sadness to them. Sadness was a part of joy from the very beginning.
  • Possibly unintentional example: Riley's imaginary boyfriend mentions that he's from Canada, referencing the Girlfriend in Canada trope. However, this takes on further meaning when you remember Riley's favorite sport; is it any wonder that she dreams of dating someone from a whole country of hockey enthusiasts?
    • Plus, she is from Minnesota.
  • Joy doesn't have her epiphany about the vital role of Sadness until she herself is finally brought to tears. She doesn't understand Sadness until she's touched by sadness herself.
  • "Glowing" is one way to describe someone who is very cheerful and content (ex: he/she is glowing today). Joy is the only emotion who literally glows a soft blue light.
    • This troper found Joy glows gold, but Sadness does glow blue. Not as intense a glow as Joy's, but a glow nonetheless.
      • It's a bit unclear; The immediate aura surrounding Joy is blue, but it appears yellow when reflected off of objects.
  • To return to the Headquarters, Joy uses the remains of the Family Island. In other words, what allowed Riley to return home is the remaining connection to the parents she was leaving behind.
  • Fear gets snarky about the content of Riley's dreams, quipping about predictability and "Who writes this stuff?" Riley's dreams are generated by Dream Productions. A veiled dig at Pixar's rivals in CGI animation, DreamWorks, perhaps?
  • When Riley sleeps, Fear is on night shift — and from Anger's comments, his hitting the red alert button due to a scary dream is something that has happened before. It's not mentioned whether the emotions take the night shift in cycles, but it would make sense if Fear is always on that duty. His job is to protect Riley during dangerous situations, and when she's asleep and vulnerable is exactly the time he might be needed the most!
  • The theme music (and indeed much of the score) is variations on Bing-Bong's theme (slowed down, different key, etc.). He's always there in the back of Riley's mind, even when nobody realizes it. This is best heard when he and Joy are singing his song in the Memory Dump looking for his rocket; their singing is timed and tuned perfectly with the background music.
  • It makes perfect sense that Sadness would be the emotion whose purpose wasn't previously recognized: she's the one emotion whose function is to affect other people's behavior rather than Riley's. Joy and Anger have self-evident functions in helping Riley do what's pleasant and beneficial, allowing her to enjoy those activities and to stand up for her right to them when denied. Fear and Disgust direct her to protect herself from what's potentially harmful, and to reject undesirable choices. But Sadness on her own can't do anything but make Riley miserable; she needs to work with her counterparts in other peoples' heads to get Riley support from the people around her, and Joy was too focused on Riley, alone, to see that. Which adds another level of meaning to the film's title: Riley's inside-directed emotions couldn't fix the problem, but her outside-directed one could.
  • Someone on the Headscratchers page pointed out that while Sadness touching memories turns them sad, the same doesn't happen with the other emotions. Someone else pointed out that Riley misses Minnesota so logically all her memories from there would be sad ones, meaning Sadness was once again just doing her job.
  • Babies are generally born with 3 temperaments: Easy, Active/Challenging, and Slow-to-warm-up. Joy was Riley's first emotion, meaning she probably had an Easy temperament and thus had a more positive outlook on life in general. If she had been Challenging, her first emotion might have been Anger or Disgust, where Slow-to-Warm-Up could have been represented by Fear. This might be why her parents also have Fear and Anger in the helms, as this could stem from their temperaments. Similarly, this movie perfectly encapsulates the Nature/Nurture argument. We have some core personality traits, but these can be affected by life events and our environments.
  • All the other characters' emotions in the movie have a more unified style that look like the character- all of Riley's Mom's emotions have brown hair and glasses, Riley's Dad's emotions have mustaches- but Riley's are all different. She doesn't have a singular unified personality yet, because she isn't mature enough. Plus, it's much harder to pin down your own core personality.
  • When Joy catches up with Bing-Bong when she first meets him, he puts his hands over his eyes. That is, he assumes that if he doesn't see anyone else, they cannot see him. At the age Riley created him, kids do tend to think that.
  • Sadness listens to Bing Bong speak about his rocket using reflective listening, which is commonly used in psychotherapy to make patients feel listened to and validates how they feel...no wonder he responded much better to that as opposed to Joy's attempts to cheer him up.
  • At the beginning of the movie, when Joy sends the daily memories to Long Term, they rain all over the labyrinth. Now, it may point at the fact that they are being sorted, but it can also represent the fact that the brain is a highly decentralized structure, capable of recovering and functioning even after massive damage.
  • During the ending, one of the core memories that was red/yellow showed Riley playing Hockey. Now that her new Hockey core memory is about competitive hockey instead of playing with her parents as a kid, there would be feelings of anger/competition/passion in it along with Joy.
  • Riley's clothes reflect the state of her mind - and the control panel. In the beginning, her clothes mainly feature bright colours, including yellow - for joy, who's more or less in charge then. When she has her first day at school in San Francisco, she's wearing a shirt with yellow, green, red, and purple stripes - the colours of all her emotions, save Sadness. Because Sadness was pushed away from the console at the start of the day. When depressed, her clothes are in greys and blacks - the colour her control panel changes, and the colours her islands become. Her shoes are also red. Why's that? Because the most proactive emotion in her head at that moment is anger.
    • The console became grey and unresponsive at the end as Riley slid into depression, where not even fear could make her second-guess her actions. The grey colour is apathy, the antithesis of emotion. Only Sadness, who is adept at obsessing over life's troubles could help snap her out of it.
  • Aside from Riley's overall need to experience Sadness in order to snap out of her numbed depression, it also makes sense that Sadness was the only one who could deactivate the Idea-Bulb for running away from home. As being stuck in San Francisco was making her both outraged and repelled - feelings that reinforced her desire to leave - neither Anger nor Disgust could dislodge the Bulb, only screw it in deeper. Fear couldn't help either, as Riley's more long-standing fear of losing everything she'd loved in her old town was stronger than her immediate fear of taking a bus that far alone. Even Joy, had she been available to try, would likely only have tightened the Bulb instead of loosening it, because Riley doesn't yet have any happy feelings about San Francisco for Joy to make her gravitate towards. But the one thing that could derail the idea of running away was the one which she'd been too blanked-out to realize: the simple, albeit heartbreaking recognition that it would not work to go back. Their old house has been sold, her old friend has already found another buddy, she'd have no place to stay there, and she'd be even lonelier in Minnesota because she'd left her parents behind. Riley had to acknowledge that running away was futile before she could get off the bus and rush back to where real help was waiting, and only Sadness could provide the painful, yet crucial moment of insightful despair that would make her forfeit such a doomed course of action, thus detaching the Idea-Bulb from the console.
  • Some Fridge Heartwarming: Bing Bong isn't totally gone. His bag and rocket made it out of the memory dump thanks to Joy, for now at least. Riley won't be able to remember why those were important, but she will be able to remember them and all the joy they brought her.
  • At some points in the movie, Riley's emotions seem rather immature. The scenes with Riley as a toddler are a good example of this. That's because they're all emotions in an eleven-year old girl's mind. Each of them have just about the same level of maturity as she does, because they're a part of her. Joy, for example, behaves rather childishly, and seems rather energetic. It appears that she has issues emotionally connecting to people, and is, in her own way, a bit selfish. All of these traits of hers show immaturity. As shown when he comes up with the idea for Riley to run away, Anger has a tendency to not think through his decisions, because his anger overcomes him. Fear himself is afraid of things that an eleven-year old girl would probably be afraid of, such as "Shoes of Doom," which, to Riley's parents, would probably be a cheesy comedic horror movie, but to Riley's Fear is a scary movie, based on Riley's general experiences. Disgust cares about Riley fitting in, disgusting foods, and other peoples' judgement. Despite this, she still falls for the 'airplane' trick with the rest of them early on in the movie. As for Sadness, she's also empathy, although she cries quite a lot, and is sensitive. One can argue that this is because she's Sadness, although compare Riley's Sadness to her mother's Sadness, along with the others. Mrs. Andersen's Sadness is more mature, and seems more focused on sympathy, empathy, and making good decisions; we also never see her cry in the movie, compared to the numerous times when Riley's Sadness does. This all comes down to Riley being eleven, and therefore immature.
  • Noticeably, Sadness isn't as upset as she usually is when she's finally on the controls at the end of the movie. While it doesn't seem that she likes the turn that things have taken, she certainly is happier than usual. This isn't because Sadness likes making Riley upset; it's because Sadness and the others finally know her purpose. Along with that, one of Sadness' roles is to ignite compassion and empathy from others, aside from making Riley cry, which was what the other emotions pretty much knew her as before the end of the movie. Therefore, when Riley ended up crying in her parents' arms, that means that Sadness not only saved the day, yet she also now has a purpose. That is what Sadness has to be happy about in that scene.
  • Something which may or may not be intentional: All of Riley's Emotions display emotions of their own. This makes sense from a storytelling standpoint as the Emotions would be terribly one-dimensional characters otherwise... But it also indicates a deeper interaction of the emotions within the story itself. If you pay attention, you'll notice the Emotions don't really seem to have their own emotions so much as they 'rub off' on each other. While Joy and Sadness are together away from the others, Joy becomes more sad and Sadness becomes more optimistic, but Joy and Sadness both also begin to lose their fear and mistrust of what Sadness can do. Meanwhile, Anger, Fear and Disgust become more and more panicked and desperate and while they were previously shown to thoroughly enjoy being at the helm when they were allowed to, they seem to take no pleasure from it once Joy isn't there. Even when it means they get to do exactly what they want. The Emotions don't just balance each other out by affecting how Riley feels, they also directly affect how the others feel and they all need each other to be complete. Joy keeping Sadness from having much input didn't just leave Riley unprepared to deal with the sadness of leaving Minnesota behind, but in the long run it also would have kept all her emotions from fully maturing.
    • Arguably, the feelings having emotions is necessary to them realizing their roles. Recall Joy's scene in the memory dump, where she weeps over the vanishing memories from Riley's childhood (very much like a parent getting maudlin about their children growing up). Arguably, that moment helped her to realize that sadness and love are connected, which was part of her coming to grips with how important sadness is.
    • Alternately, the emotions have a full range of emotions normally, but have those emotions about different subsets of things. Each emotion character doesn't represent the emotion they're named after, but a values system.
      • Joy isn't just the feeling of happiness. She's the Urge To Pleasure.
      • Sadness is the Urge To Empathy.
      • Fear is the Urge To The Familiar.
      • Disgust is the Urge To Perfection.
      • And Anger is the Urge To Dominance.
  • Sadness is often the easiest emotion for those with depression to feel, which is why Sadness is the one who can get rid of the bad idea removing the depression that's creeping over the console.
  • Joy seems unconcerned with the big Puberty button at the end, dismissing it as nothing particularly important. Puberty make people more socially aware and concerned with fitting in (Disgust), concerned with the changes happening to them and increases uncertainty (Fear), makes them more argumentative and prone to losing their tempers (Anger) and more aware of their own sadness and loss of childhood (Sadness). Of course Joy is dismissive of puberty; except for sexual relationships (which will come much later and are certainly not going to be brought up in a kid's film anyway), Joy is the least prominent in the emotional turmoil of adolescence.
  • During Riley's first night in San Francisco, she begins to dream about all the crazy stuff she saw that day in her new hometown. Joy doesn't like all those negative images, so she "changes the channel" and instead gives Riley happy flashbacks to her old life in Minnesota. There are many theories about why we dream, but most of them treat dreams as the brain's way of processing, storing, and/or cleaning up information. By shutting off the dream, Joy interrupted that process for Riley. No wonder she had so much trouble accepting all the changes in her life the next day — her brain hadn't been allowed to process it all like it should have been.
    • Moreover, the memory Riley relived in that dream is essentially the same memory that caused her to break down in class (for all we know, it could have been that exact memory. Losing yourself in beautiful memories is nice, but it makes things even harder when you wake up and realize that those days are gone for good. That whole "I'm not supposed to do this, but..." moment is easy to miss, but it arguably kicks of Riley's emotional crisis and the primary plot of the film.
  • The part where Joy cries over Bing-Bong's death? Those were tears of Joy!
  • Sadness' fixation on turning happy memories into sad ones. She was not changing all joyful memories but very specific ones (specially the Core memories) and managed to created a sad Core memory of Riley missing her home. Riley is going through a situation where her happy memories would of course make her sad since things are no longer the same. She's in a phase of nostalgia, where the good times are seen through a filter of loneliness and melancholy, and had that sad Core memory been plugged in, Riley surely would have found a way to express it. Sadness was just doing her job.
  • Mom's Fear saving the memory of the Brazilian helicopter pilot "just in case". Fear is supposed to foresee and prevent any dangerous situation; Riley's mom at some point will need to distract herself with that sexy memory in order to prevent her Anger from jumping at her husband. It's worth noticing that it was her Anger was the one that brought the memory in the first place, as if she knew that she and all the emotions needed it.
    • As explained above, Riley's parents emotions are far more balanced and subdued. While Riley's anger literally goes up in flames and screams in outrage, Dad's anger does get louder and even begins to cook a bit, but never goes past this and is easily satisfied when feeling he accomplished something. Likewise, Mom's emotions are also more controlled; Mom's Disgust complains about Dad "making that stupid face again", to which Mom's Anger growls "I could just strangle him!", but neither of them are carried away with their duties. Dad needs Disgust and Fear to allow some kind of angry action, Mom seems to not act on anger at all and instead Anger always uses the "call memory of Helicopter Guy" button when she would have to take charge.
  • Joy didn't start to disappear as fast as Bing Bong because she's an emotion, not a fragment of Riley's imagination. Emotions are a fundamental part of and in ourselves. Joy was still anchored to Riley's mind thanks to most of her memories being joyful, while Bing Bong is an imaginary friend which memories were surely already dumped by the forgotters and the only thing left of him was his presence in the deepest parts of her psyche.
  • Why was it Bing Bong and not Joy who came up with the idea of him jumping off the wagon so it could get out of the Memory Dump? Because Joy is the emotion in charge of optimism, so a Heroic Sacrifice wouldn't occur to her. It would never occur to her that the solution to the problem might not be an entirely happy one.
    • In addition, this is why Bing Bong had to trick her in order to go through with the plan, by simply suggesting another go-round and have her sing louder so she wouldn't hear him jumping off. There's no way she would have willingly gone through with a plan that would have essencially led to Bing Bong's death.
  • During the scene where the emotions try to help Riley by stuffing various hockey-related memories instead of a core memory, this reflects a person struggling with a physical activity rather well. No matter the mix of emotions you're feeling and the kind of memories your mind frantically tries to bring up, memories and emotions are not enough to make you good by themselves. And as time goes on, the emotions, especially frustration and fear, get more intense. Eventually, you (might) just give up angrily.
  • When reviewing the new house ideas, Disgust is the one who says Riley cannot live in a cookie (gingerbread house). She's the one who would care about the obvious problem of bad teeth.
    • Plus that cookie would eventually spoil, and probably be a bug/rodent magnet. Several reasons for Disgust to veto that one.
  • In a few cases, Fear has his eyelids covering half of his eyes. Some would say he looks like a completely different person. He's a Composite Character—Of the six basic emotions in Psychology, for the sake of the movie he encompasses both Fear and Surprise.
  • The music that plays when the new Family Island core memory is formed is a reprise of the music that plays when baby Riley forms her first memory. The latter was the beginning of her life in Minnesota. In the former, she's ready to begin her new life in San Francisco.
  • Fear and Anger have a lot of enjoyable interactions between them and Riley's Father's emotions seem to have a commander-lieutenant type thing going with these emotions. Especially in adults, fear and anger play off of each other frequently.
  • CinemaSins pointed out that it was pretty much impossible for the sad core memory to have reached the memory dump so quickly, but just before Joy and Bing Bong fall in, several memory shelves are collapsing and dropping their perfectly good memories down there. The sad core memory was probably put on one of those shelves. And the fact that it got there so recently explains why it was still in such good condition.
  • Bing Bong is a cute, cheerful pink animal who was loved by a little girl but was eventually left behind by her...doesn't that sound an awful lot like a certain villain from a previous Pixar film? Someone who watched Inside Out unspoiled and had already watched Toy Story 3 could easily come to the conclusion that Bing Bong will turn out to be the villain or at the very least get angry and lash out at Riley after learning that she's forgotten him due to these parallels with Lotso — and let's not forget that his intro in which he's caught trying to steal some of Riley's memories to keep for himself and then seems a little too eager to help Joy and Sadness by insisting on taking a shortcut that only delays them further comes across as a tad shady — which would make his Heroic Sacrifice even more of a surprise and a Tear Jerker for those who thought he would be the bad guy. In short, Bing Bong is a Bait-and-Switch Expy of Lotso who ends up being his good counterpart and an example of what Lotso could have become had he truly cared more about his girl's happiness more than his own well-being.
  • Babies might have lasting emotional responses to certain strong impressions, but have very short attention spans. With baby Riley, Joy and Sadness might remember what happened some time ago, but the Headquarters don't have any memory racks.
  • Bing Bong had a red wagon that Riley turned into a rocket, and planned to fly to the moon in it. The most famous company that produces rocket wagons like the one seen in the film is called Radio Flyer.
  • Bing-Bong is a sweetheart, but he can also become annoying, thanks to his dogged obsessing over his long-ago games with toddler-Riley. Anyone who's ever dealt with small children can testify that dealing with one who absolutely will not stop talking about their imaginary friend can try one's patience.
  • Sadness is the only one of the emotions who's read all the mind manuals; she knows better than the other emotions how Riley's mind works. This is because of the long association between melancholy and introspection, which goes back to the 15th century; melancholy is all about brooding on your own interior life, and since she's had nothing else to do for most of Riley's life, that's exactly how Sadness has passed the time.
  • Anger, Disgust, and Fear are the only emotions left after Joy and Sadness get separated from Headquarters, making Riley react to situations with anger, sarcasm, uncertainty, etc. These are the most common symptoms of depression in children about Riley's age in real life.
  • Given that Joy is the one who always has Riley's immediate happiness in mind and is definitely the face of the movie, it would appear that she is most evidently The Hero of the story. However, the moral of Inside Out turns out to be the importance of not repressing one's emotions, as this is not a healthy way of navigating through life. Joy's well-intentioned attempts to keep Riley happy cause her to keep Sadness from realizing her purpose and doing her job, causing the majority of conflicts throughout the story (including Riley's depression), thus making Sadness the true protagonist and Joy the antagonist!
  • Disgust trash-talking Anger to get him to melt the window during the climax was actually Riley beating herself up in regret over her decision to ride a bus back to Minnesota, and Sadness getting everything back in order was her realizing she still had a chance to turn back.
  • When the emotions are deciding on what things go where in Riley's room, you can actually pick out certain ones that they choose that correlate with what they represent. Joy chooses where to put up Riley's bed, desk, and butterfly curtains (a place where she has good dreams, a place where she can create, and something that would cheer her up and make her happy), Fear chooses where to put up her hockey lamp (fear of the dark is a common one and one of the first things you want to have in a room for that is a good light source), Anger chooses where to put up her chair (a bit more vague on this one, but depending on placement chairs can be symbols of authority), and Disgust chooses Riley's where hockey trophies will go (being able to show off one's accomplishments with the assumption that other people would later see them is a great social booster and something that socialite-minded Disgust would plan for).
  • The gears in the mechanism with the pneumatic tubes that move the orbs of memories along look like fidget spinners, toys designed to help with psychological stress.
  • Of course, Disgust's character model is based on broccoli. The first time Riley ever felt disgust was when she was being fed broccoli. Broccoli is the thing that made Disgust exist.
    • All of the emotions have an appropriate appearance. It certainly isn't a coincidence that Sadness looks like a tear drop.
      • Word of God confirms both of these. In addition: Anger is based on a fire brick, Fear is based on a raw nerve, and Joy is based on a star. All of these are appropriate to their domains and temperaments.
  • Joy's idea of giving Riley a happy dream to wake her up doesn't work. Of course it doesn't; why would you want to wake up from a dream you're enjoying? Especially when you don't have much to look forward to in the real world.
  • Whenever memories are viewed in Headquarters or on their own, they seem to have a slightly hazy overlay, or filter over them. Sadness turning the happy memories into sad ones reflects how since the move, Riley has been viewing these memories with a sense of nostalgia. Memories that used to bring her joy now instead make her sorrowful and long for her old home in Minnesota, which is the exact definition of nostalgia.
  • In the scene where Joy watches a memory of Riley ice skating, the screen is tinted pinkish. Joy is literally seeing things through a rose-colored lens!
  • The collapse of Honesty Island makes sense on two levels. First, Riley is being dishonest by stealing her mom's credit card. Second, she is being dishonest with herself about how her life would go back to normal if she runs away to Minnesota.
  • When Bing Bong and Sadness reminiscing over his lost time with Riley, Joy reacts with the exasperation and impatience of someone who doesn't want to deal with moping. A lot of people tend to think moping is either useless or attention seeking and are thus unsympathetic. However, moping actually does have a practical function; thinking deeply about emotional problems (which would also naturally bring those emotions to the surface) is actually a legitimate way to deal with troubled feelings. It's like emptying the contents of a box onto the floor; it might look like a mess at first, but it's much easier to sort through the contents than if they were kept in the box.

Riley's First Date?

  • Riley and her parents all have mixed-emotion spheres, but not Jordan. Apparently, boys are slower to mature.
    • Alternately, Jordan hasn't yet gone through as traumatic of an experience as moving halfway across the country, so hasn't needed to mature quite as early as Riley did.
Advertisement:

     Fridge Horror 

Fridge Horror

Pixar
  • While Bing Bong's sacrifice was sad, imagine if it didn't happen. We'd have a preteen girl suddenly rebelieving in her imaginary friend.
    • As long as she understands he isn't real to anyone else, what's wrong with that? He's still her friend.
      • There's a difference between remembering that she had an imaginary friend and actually believing in that imaginary friend, as a lot of very young children have only vague ideas of what's "real." Given that Riley is now old enough to know that people generally don't see/hear self-aware elephant-like creatures that no-one else can see, Bing Bong's reappearance and Riley interacting with him wouldn't just be concerning to others but likely to Riley herself.
  • In this universe, people have no control over their emotions and Riley is punished for what Disgust and Anger made her do.
    • Not quite. Disgust and Anger are Riley, or at least, two-fifths of her psyche. So they didn't make her do anything, because they are her. At least, her when the other three-fifths aren't doing much.
    • An interesting one from the trailer: The main emotion controlling Riley's mom is sadness, and the one controlling Riley's dad is anger.
    • The alternative is that each color encompasses more than one emotion when in balance. Out of balance, the more negative aspects take hold.
      • The above seems to be supported by the international trailer since while Riley's father's reaction to the stimulus was a poor one, his emotions are working in harmony, a phenomenon we also see in his wife's emotions but not Riley's.
      • Which lends itself to a bit of Fridge Brilliance: Of course Riley's emotions are out of sync and prone to conflicting and poor judgment. She's an adolescent girl.
    • I think it would be more accurate to consider a mix of both interpretations to be correct, in a way: seeing as the Emotions don't really directly control Riley's precise actions and words, it could be that while the Emotions do guide Riley into certain feelings, acting as a sort of group conscience, it's Riley herself for the most part who chooses how to express her emotions.
      • Word of God seems to support this. The Emotions aren't Riley, but they are linked to her and serve as guides who love and protect her.
    • The personified emotions are similar to the chemicals in a person's brain that make them feel emotions; they're the ones pressing the buttons (so Riley can't just decide to feel happy or sad at a given time, any more than we can), but Riley's actions and inclinations spur the reactions, and they're still her feelings.
    • Riley's emotions are the source of her actions, but they're still filtered through her mental processes, which is why they can't be certain exactly how she'll react, only the feelings behind her actions. For example, if Anger couldn't accept that he needed to become more complex, he probably thought she just needed to throw a tantrum, so he took over and jammed up her anger levels. But Riley's developing, but still immature, brain decided that she couldn't just express her emotion, she needed to channel it into a productive reaction i.e. running away. This actually explains why the emotions get less and less direct as a person ages. Babies have no mental filter and are governed by emotions; if they are happy, they laugh, and if they are sad they cry. But as you get older, you get more aware of other factors that have to affect your reactions. A big part of growing up is figuring out how to let your emotions affect you but not control you directly.
    • It must be noted that Riley was capable of actively resisting the inputs coming from the emotions. Take a look at her first day at school: No matter what Joy says the monkey bars are not used.
  • Dreams are created in Dream Productions. So if Riley has a nightmare, do those at Dream Productions want her to experience it and feel afraid on purpose?
    • Nightmares and dreams are really two sides of the same coin. Someone at Dream Production could decide that Riley needs a nightmare, say, to help her work through some waking-life anxiety in a safe manner. They can be coordinated to help Riley.
      • There are some medical conditions (like sleep apnea) where the patient has difficulty breathing or even stops altogether while they're asleep. Nightmares are common symptoms and are considered the brain's way of telling the person "Hey you, wake up, I'm not getting any oxygen!"
    • Dream Productions ended up trying to make a fairly negative nightmare on their own. It's just their job to make dreams. If they get memories that will be best in a nightmare, they put together a bad dream. That's why Joy and Sadness can't simply ask them to help wake Riley up; they have a job to do.
    • Nightmares might be an important way of helping Riley face or deal with her fears.
  • Okay, we know emotions are created when a person is born into the world. But what happens, say, if someone passed away? What would happen to the five emotions within that person's head?! Will they pass on too, or simply just vanish? And what will happen to the brain's command center as well as the surrounding structures outside? Will those suffer the same fate too? It's horrifying to think about.
    • Best case scenario: Depending on what you believe, they either are move into another newborn or taken to wherever their person ends up. Worst case... yeah.
    • There are so many horrible implications. Considering how much love Riley's emotions show for her and how they want to protect her and assume they're like that in everyone. What if their person dies unexpectedly- or murdered? Does that mean, as far as they know, they failed?
    • It gets worse. What happens in a person's mind if they attempt suicide?
    • Disgust did say that she'd "saved all our lives" when she got toddler-Riley to refuse to eat broccoli, so presumably the emotions would die along with their person.
      • True, but remember, she said that regarding eating broccoli, so it's fair to assume that Disgust is not the most educated in the manner, at least not while Riley was in the Toddler stage.
      • Disgust may not be the most educated about broccoli, but at least it's reasonable to assume she's informed about her own job. Unlike Sadness, Disgust knows her responsibilities from the first time she appears, and she plainly takes them quite seriously. None of the others call her on her saved-our-lives claim either, suggesting that they also believe that their very lives are riding on Disgust's judgement.
    • Why would the emotions survive? That makes no sense.
      • They could survive for a little while, just as the memories are fading away. Helpless.
  • On a similar note, what if Joy and Sadness hadn't returned? Would Riley have eventually been Driven to Suicide? Given how the control panel locked up after depression took over, it's easy to imagine either the remaining emotions pulling a self-destruction switch as a last resort, or Riley committing the act on her own.
    • As said before, the console locked up, and none of the emotions could do anything. She was running on autopilot.
    • She would be developing a personality disorder. She could end up with Disgust predominately, and become narcissistic or have borderline personality disorder, or histrionic. She could have had anger in control and could have serious mood disorders. She could have had fear in control and have generalized anxiety disorder, or become neurotic. Sadness brings healing and we learn more from our negative emotions than we do our positive ones. Without Sadness, Riley was in serious danger. She would have clearly turned into a loser, and probably drugs. Should things continue, she could have been one evil girl, developing Antisocial Personality Disorder.
  • It's been established that the emotions don't live in Riley's physical brain, but in a dimension in her head, so they're affected by brain freeze (which affects the head, not so much the brain). So if something physical happened to Riley's brain (like brain surgery), the emotions would be fine. But what if Riley gets a psychological disease like Alzheimer's later? Will the emotions stay, will they change, or will they still be there but with memory orbs and the like disappearing and the emotions being powerless to do anything to help her?
    • What's going on in the minds of people with emotional disorders?
      • That would probably depend on the emotional disorder. If a person is suffering from, let's say, bipolar disorder, each of the emotions would probably be fighting for control in their person's Headquarters, causing the person to be angry one minute and sad the next. Also, a lobotomy (a form of brain surgery) would, in fact, affect the emotions. People who had a lobotomy tend to be emotionally stunted or even change completely, so the emotions would probably become more cautious or just lazy soon after said surgery, or maybe the control panel is changed in a way that prevents the emotions from working efficiently.
      • The console is almost certainly involved in at least some emotional disorders. Towards the end of the movie, the control panel begins to become unresponsive and the emotions start to panic about it because they can't make Riley feel anything. That sounds a lot like the effect of depression.
      • Agreeing about the console - I can easily imagine the emotions themselves being good-intentioned, and the console malfunctioning. So for example, in someone with Anxiety, Fear tries to tap lightly on the gas pedal, and the console almost always reads it as going full throttle. Medication might trigger the brain workers to be able to fix the console and put the emotion back in proper charge. Bipolar moods also tend to last days or even weeks - perhaps in that mind, Joy takes the controls and tries to hand them back to Fear or Sadness, but the console sticks in Joy mode and doesn't allow them in, resulting in a manic stage.
      • Bipolar is sort of like the emotions having a party, and everyone is going wild and dancing and drunkenly hitting on each other (hypo/mania), but then everyone is hungover the next day, and they spilled beer on the console so it's broken (depression).
      • It could also be represented by some kind of blight breaking down or deteriorating pathways, or the Memory Dump could be expanding and consuming the memory storage areas. Could also have memory workers getting lazy or incompetent. Brain injuries could be like the brain feeeze and be represented by an earthquake that cracks or destroys some areas.
  • A bit similar to above, what goes on in the mind of a pedophile? Or anyone with a sick, disturbing fetish?
    • Might belong in Headscratchers or WMG, but the short answer is probably that the Joy in their heads find pleasure in other things besides the ones featured in the movie.
    • A lot of people with sick fetishes feel a lot of Disgust at their actions, Fear that they'll be found out (which may keep them from getting help, or expressing their preferences in a healthy manner), Anger because they don't want to keep doing it and can't stop themselves, Sadness about the fact that they can't express themselves freely, and the Joy is obvious.
    • Primordial drives like hunger, thirst, tiredness and lust aren't necessarily the same thing as emotions, and don't seem to fall directly under the purview of any of the five. There may well be a secondary control center where such visceral urges are regulated, the same way the physical brain has hypothalamic nuclei for primal drives as well as a limbic system for complex feelings; perhaps that's even what's at the base of the pillar which Emotional Control is at the top of.
    • People seek normality when they're stressed. The brain records data about what is normal. It always seeks that normal. If one grows up feeling guilty, then guilt is a normal feeling and when is stressed, one needs that feeling of guilt. If one feels sad growing up, one will need that feeling of sadness. This turns into fetishes because these fetishes can invoke these feelings. In a lot of cases, like pedophilia, the disease isn't emotional, but elsewhere. The emotions aren't behind the desire for it. Some pedophiles are born that way, and some pedophiles end up that way through abuse.
  • Imagine what kind of demented relationship the emotions must have in the head of a sociopath, like Syndrome?
    • Sociopaths are best known for their distinct lack of empathy. In other words, imagine if Sadness had simply taken every bit of advice Joy was forcing on her…
    • True sociopaths aren't restrained by fear, revulsion or fairness either. Possibly a sociopath is what you get if a person's Control console is defective and just doesn't operate.
  • A bit of Adult Fear: imagine if Joy and Sadness hadn't gotten back when they did and Riley had gotten further in running away. An eleven-year-old girl, having led a rather sheltered life, out alone on the streets...
    • It's likely that Joy and Sadness would be able to return at some point, and Riley's parents would eventually find her, no matter how far she had gotten.
    • It is also worth note that Riley still had her mother's credit card, and likely would use it to pay for food and the like, which would make it much easier for her parents to track her down if she went further.
  • The Bus Driver seems to have some kind of Hate Plague going on in his head.
    • He's got five angers, and no other emotions. Imagine how unbalanced this guy must be- his emotions aren't out of whack like Riley's, he literally has no ability to feel joy or fear, just anger all the time. It's a miracle he didn't start a killing spree while Riley was on the bus.
      • He had all of his emotions. They were simply angry. Kinda like all of the dog´s emotions acting the same.
      • When Riley shouts that she wants off, he doesn't hesitate to stop and let her off, even looking in her direction as she was running back. They might all be Anger-shaped, but that doesn't mean he's incapable of feeling anything else; there was likely some level of concern there for an unaccompanied minor. Heck, even in the credits scene, it's the actual Anger-Anger (the red one) that tries to calm down the group, so while Anger might be the more common emotion for him (who wouldn't be at least mildly irritated at being stuck in traffic with annoying passengers, especially when you're on a schedule to keep), we can safely say he's barely, if at all, less emotionally balanced than the other adults we see.
    • Alternately, he may be the rare sort of person who likes being angry, so even his Joy is shaped like most peoples' Anger. Likewise, his Fear, Disgust, and Sadness may make him angry.
  • What might have become of Riley if Joy remained trapped in the memory dump long enough to get dusted? The very ability to even feel joy would be permanently lost to her.
    • Probably more of a WMG, but it depends on what emotions are. We never see any deterioration on Joy where Bing Bong started disappearing right away. It's possible that she would simply remain trapped there forever or until something happened that allowed Riley to find joy again. It's also possible that it would simply take a very long time for her to disappear.
    • Had Joy failed to return from the Memory Dump, it's possibly poor Riley would have wound up, not just as a depressive, but as an addict of some kind: unable to feel legitimate happiness, yet compelled to stimulate a pseudo-happy state with alcohol or drugs. Disgust in particular would loathe her doing so, but the console might well keep graying out each time she went too long without a fix.
  • When Riley is getting ready to run away, and her mental landscape is collapsing, thousands of her long-term memories get dumped into the pit as the racks nearest to Family Island get knocked over.
  • What would happen on the head of someone with PTSD? Does the memory reviewer act by itself or something like that?
    • A possibility is that the memory that gave rise to the PTSD has been "installed" as a core-memory. Let's face it: if something's traumatic enough to give you PTSD, it's gonna shape your personality on some level. And given the level of importance all the emotions give any core-memory, it's unlikely they'd simply discard it, lest other issues arise (such as what happened with Riley when Joy tried to prevent that sad core memory from getting placed).
    • As a result of being a Core Memory, it seems that these activate all by themselves when they try to run an island of personality. A person with PTSD might have a bad core memory that activates randomly because it's so strong. Removing the memory completely does all kinds of damage, as Joy learned when she tried to throw away Riley's sad Core Memory. You might never be able to get rid of it completely but you can still stop it from popping up randomly.
  • The tie-in book "Driven By Emotions" brings up a horrifying possibility. In the section narrated by Anger, he mentions that he thinks Headquarters might crumble away like the islands of personality did after the console starts turning black. If Joy and Sadness hadn't gotten back in time, it's possible that the rest of Riley's remaining emotions would have fallen into the memory dump with no way of escaping.
  • As stated above, the reason only Sadness can change the emotion of memories may be representing Riley missing Minnesota. Would Anger or Disgust doing the same thing represent self-hatred or self-disgust?
    • In a situation that made her feel that way greatly and persistently, it probably would color other memories - even the ones that are the opposite emotions (for example, if you thought of the best pizza you ever had while feeling that San Francisco ruined pizza, this time it'd make you feel angry because it isn't like that good memory; that's the memory being 'colored' by the emotion.)
    • On a positive note, the same emotional re-tinting could even work with Joy: if Riley were to reminisce about the stairs to their old house's basement, which were among the fears locked away in her subconscious, she'd probably feel relief that she's never going to have to go down those spooky steps again. So the memory-sphere for those stairs would turn from purple to yellow if Joy touches it.
    • Not really. As noted in other sections, the emotions are foundations of far more complex processes. The reason for Sadness changing core memories was not just that Riley missed Minnesota, but that she needed to express it. An anger-based memory could be born from either passion or determination, so her hockey memory could be changed by Anger the same way by Riley starting to look at the competitive side, being born from her desire to improve and not from the convinction of being bad at it.
    • Similarly, Disgust changing memories as part of her job doesn't have to be self-directed. Say Riley ate a delicious hotdog from a carnival stand, but then later that night got food poisoning from it. Disgust would likely tint the memory of that hotdog — and maybe all hotdog-related memories — in an effort to warn Riley away from repeating that mistake.
  • Take a look at all those locations that Joy and Sadness visit during their time outside the Headquarters. Take note of the Dream Factory, or the area with all sorts of foods that Riley loves. Take note of the fact how Joy loves these places. And now realize the fact that Joy can never ever visit them again, even if as a vacation, since for every moment she's away from Headquarters, Riley can't be happy and becomes emotionally unstable. As much as Joy loves her job, she's effectively a prisoner to it, and so are the other emotions. And she can never leave, no matter how much she would wish to see these places again.
    • The emotions however, are technically inactive when Riley is asleep, save for the lone emotion assigned for Dream Duty. Joy and the others can visit other areas in Riley's mind when she's asleep, only that they don't have any mode of transport to do so: The only way in and out of Headquarters (aside from the recall tubes) is via the Train of Thought, and it is always inactive when Riley is asleep.
    • Much of what's in Imagination Land probably turns up regularly in Riley's dreams, however, so Joy and Sadness will at least get the chance to watch them in the future.
  • Just the very fact that all of the emotions have to live their lives like that. Up until she finally cries during the film, Joy seems like a Stepford Smiler, which, with so many pent up emotions inside of her, probably can't be all that good. The others, meanwhile, don't have it much better. Though she has excellent personality traits, Sadness spends the majority of her time feeling melancholic, which really can't be good. Anger would have anger issues in real life, and most likely has a difficult time expressing other feelings. Disgust is a very sarcastic person, and, judging by her reaction to Joy not being there, might wish she was someone else. Fear seems to have it even worse, since he's literally a nerve, and has bags under his eyes; there's also a good chance he has extreme anxiety.
  • A minor one, but during the two scenes in Imagination Land, did Bing Bong and Joy actually kill the Cloud couple living in Cloud Town by "blowing them away"?
  • In a darker work, Joy would literally be a tyrant, effectively forcing their human to be happy and relegating all other emotions to back-seat duties while she lords it out over emotional affect to sate her own desire for happiness. That said, the film does go out of its way to show that this is not a healthy thought process, and that Joy learns of ambivalent emotional memories. The worst part is that Riley has no idea why she feels happy all the time, especially when forced to put on a brave face, because it's just natural. The whole reason Riley's psyche starts to fall apart and enter depression is because she has no idea how to function without being happy.
  • A What Could Have Been scenario, but imagine how Joy and Sadness would've needed to adapt their trip into the Subconscious if Riley had a fear less Obliviously Evil and more vicious than Jangles the Clown. People have all sorts of worst-fears and people can have some pretty abstract, weird, or truly terrifying fears.
    • Given some of the possibilities brought up by Fear when Riley decides to run away in the film's novelization, it's possible that Joy and Sadness just got really lucky to run into Jangles. Her conscious concerns include "ending up dead on the side of the road". It's hard not to interpret that as a fear that someone will murder her, so it's likely that her subconscious has some pretty dark stuff hiding in the shadows.
    • Not necessarily. Her subconscious seemed to consist of things that actually did exist in Riley's corporeal reality, not stuff she'd dreamed up from scratch or heard about secondhand. Their scariness may have been exaggerated in keeping with Riley's own perspective, but they weren't pure fantasy; such imaginary threats would probably be confined to a spooky haunted-house-style neighborhood of Imagination Land, not the subconscious. Maybe if she'd been a morbid kid who harped upon such concepts for years, they'd build up a strong-enough impression to get exiled to her subconscious, but Riley's not the type to traumatize herself with her own imaginings.
  • Someone on the Headscratchers page brought up what would be happening in HQ if someone burst out into uncontrollable laughter, with someone else responding that a laughter command just gets stuck in the console after Joy inputs it. People have actually died from this; imagine what that's like inside someone's HQ, with the emotions slowly suffocating(people that die from laughter tend to die from the inability to breathe) and the Mind World growing dark/fading/whatever-happens-when-someone-dies as they try desperately to fix the console. Not to mention what the one who input the command in must be thinking in their last moments.
  • Imagine what goes in the head of a religious fanatic, A Knight Templar from The Crusades, a Corrupt Politician, crime lords, serial killers, drug addicts, war criminals, dictators, manipulators and other horrible, vicious people.
  • How negatively would the emotions be affected by a girl's menstrual cycle?
    • In most cases? Not very. Anger and Sadness have a little more input during the pre-menstrual phase, is all. And possibly Disgust spending most of the actual period complaining.
    • Maybe the sensitivity of the console changes but the emotions themselves are unaffected.
  • Imagine being Riley's parents. They have their own problems with the move and realize their daughter is acting strangely. Perhaps there's a brief interlude before the final act where they decide or hope that Riley will or has gotten over whatever was wrong with her... And then they're presented with the possibility that she ran away. Needless to say no parent deserves a nasty shock like a run-away situation (or worse), and then you consider that this occurs more often than we'd like to admit in the real world.
  • Just the very idea that we all have a bunch of different personalities in our heads controlling our every move would be enough to make anyone paranoid. True, they're more guides and guardians than direct controllers, but seeing as Word of God confirmed the emotions of the film are in fact separate from Riley in Another Dimension, it can be a bit of Paranoia Fuel.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report