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Headscratchers / Inside Out

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     Out of sync timelines 
  • The timeline of the events following Joy and Sadness really doesn't seem to match up with the timeline of the events outside Riley's head. Joy and Sadness are first sucked out of headquarters and sent to long term memory during the first lesson of Riley's first day at her new school yet they don't attempt to return to headquarters by crossing goofball island until tea time that day; what were they doing for that entire time? The point where they first meet Bing Bong to the point where they finally board the train of thought also takes place over a full day yet there are no cuts during that sequence that would suggest a number of hours have passed. Time must pass at the same speed inside Riley's head as outside of it because the emotions in headquarters experience events first hand as they unfold.
    • Actually, unless Riley reacted to things immediately, I'd think that things go slower inside her mind. There's a WMG theory on it.
    • There's probably a bit of Year Inside, Hour Outside or Narnia Time going on. Events in the control room would likely occur in 'real-time' — that's where the initial stimuli to Riley's surroundings is being received and immediately responded to. Long-term memory and the like, however, is where all these elements are being processed and stored. In short, the control room is where immediate responses are needed, long-term memory isn't, so the passage of time might seem quite different.
    • They probably spent a lot of time wandering around among the memory-stacks, that just wasn't shown. Even a child's memory bank is going to be huge, especially considering how brief most of the stored memories are likely to be.

     Colors of Joy 
  • Why does Joy glow a blue hue if she's yellow?
    • .... Rule of Cool?
    • The color of the emotion only affects the body, not the hair.
    • Sunny days tend to make people feel happy. Joy is like the sun in a blue sky, hence the blue glow.
    • Actually it's to represent the fact that you need to be sad to be happy. Since Sadness in blue in glow, Joy is too. That's the lesson Joy learns. Which is why when Joy swirls the memory while in the Forgotten, the memory turns sad as it goes through time.
  • And why do some official pictures of Joy have her dress be more yellow (like on the character page image), but in most movie screenshots it's more of a yellow-green/chartreuse?
    • Maybe just because it looks brighter? The actual color of her dress is apple green, to be specific.
    • They wanted to make the colors as bright as possible for Joy, since she resembles all things bright and beautiful in Riley's head.
  • Why is Joy the only emotion to have different colored eyes and hair from her skin? (Ie. Sadness has blue skin, eyes and hair, but Joy has yellow skin, blue eyes and blue hair)
    • Having a sharp color contrast makes a character appear more vibrant and lively, something that would fit an energetic emotion like Joy. Meanwhile, monotone colors are seen as dull and depressing, which is right up Sadness' alley.
    • But even Anger, an arguably "vibrant" emotion, has red skin, eyes and "hair". Since all emotions are monochromatic, shouldn't Joy have yellow eyes and hair to match her skin?
    • It's also foreshadowing. Joy is the only emotion we see in the movie to significantly experience an emotion other than the one she was named for (hence that particular colour), and at a particularly crucial moment in events. Basically: it's there partly for artistic reasons, Rule of Drama, don't think about it too much.
    • The movie shows that Joy and Sadness are complementary emotions, rather than opposites. So they share the same eye and hair colour, but since Joy is the happy one, her skin is yellow.
    • It could also be an indication that Joy is the only emotion that Riley has, as yet, developed a more sophisticated range of experience with. Prior to the move, she's been a happy kid with no significant problems, so her experiences of fear, anger, disgust and sadness are less complex and elaborate. Joyfulness, she's savored in many different ways and forms, so Joy has a more complicated color palette to reflect this. This, naturally, Foreshadows how Riley's memory-spheres will also become multicolored when they become more sophisticated as well.

     The Bag of Weightlessness 
  • Why didn't Bing Bong jump into the bag?
    • The bag weighs the same amount, regardless of what is put into it. He could have escaped the Memory Dump if he had jumped inside the bag and the wagon could have carried them both.
    • Simply because Bing-Bong realized that his time was up. He was beginning to fade almost immediately after finding himself in the Memory Dump, suggesting that Riley had all but completely forgotten him. He made his peace with the fact that his time as part of Riley's life was done. Everything has its time and everything ends.
    • He had to be outside the bag to sing his theme song aloud. It needed two voices to charge up the rocket-wagon sufficiently to get to the clifftop.
    • If he was beginning to fade away already, his magic bag probably wouldn't have worked for him anyway.

    Inside Patriots' Heads 
  • What do you suppose is going on in the head of a war hero? Someone who is about to jump on a grenade for instance?
    • Well, it would depend on the person and their beliefs. Going with the 'jumping on a grenade' example, a person could be doing it to protect someone else, in which case it might be a mixture of Anger and Sadness. Sadness would be the part of them going 'This is probably going to get me killed.' And Anger is the one going 'But I'm going to do it anyway, for (insert reason here, country, family, whatever)'. Fear is probably around there too, though since a grenade doesn't exactly give one much time to dwell on any decision, his contribution would most likely be something like 'Oh no, it's a grenade, that will kill me' thus instigating a 'get away from the thing that will kill me' response, before probably Anger takes over, deciding to take the bullet.
    • More likely Anger would be working the controls, yelling about "My buddies don't deserve to die, that's not fair!", while Disgust holds Fear back so he can't interfere (because shame is self-disgust, and shame of cowardice is overriding fear of death).
    • A well trained individual in battle would likely have a fear much like Riley's dad's, providing operational support on possible dangers so that the other emotions could react accordingly. Someone who had mastered their fear wouldn't so much have a fear of death as a fear of the harm that could come to others under their protection, meaning fear could be perfectly ok with jumping on a grenade.
    • Fear would be a very tiny part of the soldier's head. A soldier only fears for the lives of his comrades and family, but if you hurt them, Anger will take over.
    • A soldier actually needs a healthy fear. Only cannon fodder lacks fear, aka, 'the knowledge that there are things out there which can hurt you and what they are'. Without that you have a solider unable to conceive of risk, both to himself, his mission and his comrades, and a solider who's likely to get himself and others killed. A soldier would be most likely to suppress Sadness, who governs regret and empathy.

    Stay Positive! 
  • Why are there four negative emotions and only one positive one? Although Fear, Sadness, Disgust and Anger can be perfectly justified emotions to have, they are not really emotions you'd usually want to have a lot of. Only having Joy to balance all those out seems...unbalanced.
    • Perhaps they were thinking that most other positive emotions would either fall under the general heading of "Joy", or not be used very often, but Fear, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust are all distinct from one another and common? Alternatively, it's possible there being more negativity than positivity is a plot point, or important to the narrative in some other way.
    • Plus fear is by far not a negative emotion as fear is not only the "paralyzing you" emotion but also the part of you that is preventing you from being hurt or killed. What prevents you from putting your hand into boiling water for a minute? The fear of getting hurt and feeling pain. So in my eyes fear can be a positive emotion as well. And anger is no just burning rage but courage and competitiveness. All of the emotions have their good sides.
    • Fear, anger, sadness & disgust are there so your body avoids/removes harmful stimuli. Not having those would be just as bad as not having joy.
    • That wasn't the question. They were asking why there's not more "positive" emotions.
    • The whole point of the movie is that emotions are nor positive nor negative, all of them have their function and excess of Joy can also be harmful.
  • It's Fridge Brilliance when you think about it, as she's a preteen girl. Most of her emotions would be negative at this point in her life.
    • That doesn't really apply since both her parents (and presumably every other human in the movie) have those same five emotions.
  • Who knows why they chose this one out of all the available theories on primary emotions, but they seem to have based the movie off the Oatley and Johnson-Laird model. So to answer your question, it's because of psychological theory.
    • Actually, they based the movie off the Ekman model (as Ekman actually consulted the Pixar employees on making the movie), but decided to cut Surprise as their role would be too similar to that of Fear and/or Joy.
  • The emotions are shown to be working together at all times, so I think the issue is more to do with all of them working in harmony then allowing one emotion to become too dominant. If you think about it, possessing the extreme of one emotion or its complete absence would have a negative effect in some manner. Too much Joy could lead to someone becoming too naive or being in a constant state of delirium, whereas the absence of it could foster anxiety or depression. Balance is the key for a healthy lifestyle, not just living in blissful ignorance.
  • If the official character descriptions are any indication, even the more "negative" emotions want to help and protect Riley.
  • I would suppose that it's because Joy is actually equal to all four of them, as while you can just pair off two of the Emotions and get another one (such as Anger and Sadness make Resentment), you need at least two of the others to counter Joy (Anger, Sadness, and Joy make Bittersweet). Joy covers a huge variety of positive emotions by herself- Excitement, Optimism, Joy, Enthusiasm, Determination, Thrill, Energeticness, Creativeness, Inspired etc... where the others need to mix to form that many other emotions. Joy runs _all_ positive emotions, because positive emotions all bring out feelings of joy in some way. Disgust, Anger, Sadness, and Fear explore four emotions that are totally unrelated. That's why Surprise was cut- that's an emotion that falls under Fear, but Disgust doesn't fall under Anger, Sadness, or Fear, nor is it a mix of any of those emotions like Jealousy would be (Jealousy being an emotion likely controlled by Anger and/or Sadness). Love is not a character (though I hear it being a requested one often) because Love isn't an emotion, it's a cause of emotion. Joy can replicate any positive emotions because of positive emotions always being linked to happiness, but there needs to be four others to run the gamut of negative emotions.
  • To quote Tolstoy: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Positivity is fairly straightforward in most cases while negativity is considerably more complex.
  • They're not negative/positive; they're both, and English is just terrible at expressing such nuances. Anger serves both as her indignation but also as Riley's/a person's sense of fairness. It can also be a sense of competition. Likewise, when working together, they can often create what we would you'd usually want to have anger, disgust, and fear could cause someone to be courageous as much as, say... joy and anger. Likewise, the whole movie is about how sadness can be a means by which other emotions (and people by proxy) can signal for help or express themselves - not a negative role either. Likewise, take Riley's (or anyone's) reaction to San Fran or a new home. First, Anger and Disgust noticing all the imperfections and such. But eventually because they've noticed these things, they either learn to get over them or learn to love them. Without that, such things would actually just keep bothering them without any way to properly process them. Conversely, unmitigated Joy is bad - it's Sadness that has empathy and empathy for others, not Joy. This also means that it's not each emotion acting in isolation; it's the interaction of them with each other and their control panels that results in the actual feeling. Dad's Anger alone didn't make the decision to Put The Foot Down - that was a mutual decision and interaction of all his emotions expressing themselves. His Anger might have brought up the idea, but it took all emotion to carry it through.
    • That's one of the main messages of the movie- there's no such thing as a 'bad' or 'wrong' emotion. If Joy had realized that about Sadness earlier, most of the central conflict could have been avoided.
  • 'Negative' and 'Positive' are tricky things to apply to emotions. We might not enjoy feeling some of them, but that doesn't mean we don't need to feel or express them. Fear prevents us from blundering headlong into situations where we might die without stopping and thinking. Disgust prevents us from poisoning ourselves because we don't stop to think that that awful-smelling thing might kill us if we put it in our mouths. Anger helps us stand up for ourselves when we feel we've been wronged. And Sadness alerts other people to the possibility that we might have a problem and need help (even if it's just a big comforting hug). Only having Joy, conversely, results in us becoming the Stepford Smiler.
    • They also kind of blend together. Consider the memory that both Joy and Sadness call their favourite. It initially seems like a straightforward happy memory of everyone celebrating Riley, but we later learn that it only happened because Riley was upset that she cost the team a victory in the playoffs, and her parents and friends gathered together to make her feel better. An ultimately happy memory never would have taken place if Riley hadn't also been capable of feeling sad.
  • Notice that all five emotions are capable of experiencing some form of happiness. Toddler!Riley's emotions are thrilled by "airplane," Mom's emotions all sigh wistfully over the dreamy helicopter pilot, and Dad's emotions are all happy watching the sports daydream. Even Sadness can be happy, sort of, a little. Maybe the reason there's only one Joy is because all the other emotions (except occasionally Sadness) are perfectly capable of seeing a good situation and going "welp, over to you, Joy!"
  • Setting aside the psychological, spiritual, and lexicographical quagmire that is calling any emotion "negative" or "positive," according to The Other Wiki, director Pete Docter consulted Paul Ekman during preproduction. Docter based the main cast on Ekman's six basic emotions (omitting Surprise, because he felt it was too similar to Fear).
  • If they had all of the emotions, there would be too many to count and some that are a little too unsuitable for kids, like depression. By whittling them down to six, they make the head easier to understand.
    • Melancholic depression actually seems to be the core theme of the film. It's not portrayed as an emotion, though, so much as a loss of first happiness and sadness, then the ability of any of the emotions to work with the control panel. The film seems to take the idea that there are a handful of basic emotions, and that other feelings are an interaction between them (hence more complex positive memories being depicted toward the end of the film, like Joy and Anger both touching a hockey memory to generate competitiveness).
  • Do new emotions get "born" as people grow up? At puberty, does Lust—or, more delicately, Desire—join the cast? It seems to me that Desire is different from, and more complex than, the simple physical sex drive.
    • It doesn't seem like it. The film seems to be based on a psychological model where there are a handful of basic emotions that form early on and then persist throughout the lifespan (most literally, the Oatney and Johnson-Laird model, which has pretty much the same emotions depicted in the film with "fear" changed to "anxiety"). In those models, things like desire and lust are secondary or tertiary emotions. It seems like love is a secondary emotion controlled by Joy, for example. Desire would probably be a tertiary emotion leading off of that.
    • No, as seen by Riley's parents' emotions they possess the same five. I like to theorize, however, that instead of creating a completely new emotion for intercourse, I imagine the existing emotions cooperating much during it. For example, say we have a girl, named Debbie, who's going to experience her honeymoon. At first, she feels anxious about her first time, thus Fear takes over the control panel for a moment. Then, she gets penetrated, and it hurts, so Sadness will step in to steer her. Then, as she reaches orgasm, Joy will practically button smash the keys in exhileration (and maybe Sadness will step in again, in case pain and pleasure is mixed.) Maybe Debbie will get a little sexually aggressive/fierce during love-making, having Anger overruling there, or Disgust in the afterglow when covered in sweat and essences. The emotions can work together just fine without a new, pointless addition to the team. (PS. I completely understand everyone who wants to dismember me for speculating all this.)
  • Also, do the biological drives, such as hunger, pain, sex, etc., have their own control panel, from which they send up information to the main control room? It would be interesting to see that process.

    Yellow-Bellied Coward 
  • Why isn't Fear yellow? Did they think it was too obvious or what?
    • Because Joy is also associated with yellow, and Joy is a more important character in this movie.
  • Yellow is too 'warm' to be Fear's color; it's more connected with cowardice (the result of letting fear define you) anyway. Besides, I think purple works because it's "spooky".
  • The phrase "yellow belly" is derived from the slur "Being Yellow". It could be considered racist.
  • Because Purple is a cold colour with warm elements to it, the way being afraid is usually in response to bad things, but you can also like being scared. Green doesn't work despite being halfway between a warm and a cold colour because green is a warm colour, where purple is not. Disgust got green because Disgust is roughly a good thing, as she's in charge of preventing Riley from metaphorical and literal poisoning, but people can be disgusted by things they shouldn't be (either for their own safety or for the sake of being a decent person).
  • Why would he be in the first place?
    • I believe the OP is referring to the fact that the word "yellow" is often used as a slang word to describe someone who is a coward.
  • Fear is associated with dark colors, because we instinctively fear the darkness (even though we get over it when we grow). Maybe you think of yellow because of some figure of speech - but then, the foreign viewers wouldn't understand, as would the ones who don't know the figure of speech. Aside from that, the only reason anyone would associate yellow and fear would be that they're a fan of Green Lantern-and the Sinestro Corps is yellow to contrast with the titular organisation, by taking their Kryptonite factor for their symbol.
  • Consider also the shade of purple he is. It's very washed out and unhealthy looking. It gives him a cartoony version of the pallor of a stressed-out employee who hasn't been sleeping well over fear of losing his job, might as well have been mainlining caffeine and looks about one step away from a complete emotional breakdown (which is basically his characterisation). While you can have washed-out shades of any colour, of course, I'd imagine that was probably the most fitting one that still had that effect while making him look cartoony and being distinct from the colours used for the other characters. Certainly, I can't really think of a shade of yellow that would have that same effect.
  • Given that fear and cowardice are not automatically synonymous, I personally am glad that they didn't go that route. Fear is simply about recognising potential danger and acting upon that recognition appropriately. It isn't cowardly to behave cautiously when facing something that might threaten your survival, and the potential "fight" response is as much a product of fear as is "flight". In the movie, Anger appeared to be the emotion whose role it was to help fight Riley's battles, but that largely seemed to be in reaction to perceived injustices as opposed to basic survival - in fact, a lot of Riley's actions that came specifically from Anger (running away from home, stealing, etc) amounted to sheer recklessness. With the emotions now having learned to work in unison, I could see Fear and Anger becoming quite an effective team.
  • In the movie, Fear does act like a coward, trying to run away from his responsibility. I figured that at the end, that was why the panel rejected him as well as Anger and Disgust. Riley could still have been afraid of running away, but Fear had casually decided to skip out on her early, making him too weak to protect her.
  • Adding to everything of the above, fear is much more then simple cowardice, it is, as portrayed in the move, a very important emotion and if he was yellow, it would have highlighted the aspect of cowardice to strong.

    Boy or Girl Emotions? 
  • The mother's emotions are "female" and the father's emotions are "male", but then why does Riley have both "male" and "female" emotions? Is it to show how unbalanced her mind is?
  • Possibly she is still figuring her emotions out. Her emotions avatar seem to be in a default or natural state, while her parents' have been adapted to their own likeness (some of them seem to be wearing a wig or fake mustache more than being actually male or female). With time, maybe, she also will have emotions adequate to her own basic template (blonde hair, maybe?)
  • Alternatively, they could represent a tomboyish personality, or that Riley might be Transgender.
    • I'd think if Riley were transgender, all her emotions would be uniformly one gender that contrasts her biological gender.
      • Hey, she(?) could be non-binary or genderfluid.
    • According to Pete Docter, Riley is not transgender.
  • At least her father has at least one, possibly up to three, female emotions: Exhibit A Note that his Joy has (small) breasts.
    • Actually, I believe the reason why Riley's Dad's Joy has breasts is because his Joy is just Riley's but with a few alterations. This is most likely due to the troubled and costly production which lead Pixar to being too cheap to make a proper male joy.
      • Possibly, but they do make a female Anger for Riley's Mother. It seems more likely that the emotions just take on some physical attributes of their "owner" as the person matures and starts to have more control over them. For her Father, that's trimming their hair short, wearing business suits, and having mustaches. This affects all of the emotions equally regardless of their gender and how much they're changed to fit the model.
      • Maybe his Joy looks so much like his daughter's because being a father is the major source of joy in his life?
  • According to a manga called Nounai Poison Berry, three of the five members inside a 30-year old woman Ichiko's brain are male, like in a Japanese Business meeting. They all act like different parts of Ichiko's psyche, and the gender differences are just ignored. So it's not that all strange.
  • According to some trivia from Pixar, it's mainly just for comedy. As far as the in-universe explanation, it could just be that it depends on the person and Mr. and Mrs. Anderson just happen to have emotions that are their same gender.
  • Maybe because her parents have had their personalities affected by stereotypes longer than Riley has.
  • If the credits are any indication, everyone can have different emotion genders.
  • When first watching the trailers, I assumed that since Riley was still a child, her emotions weren't "hers" yet and were more what she had inherited from her parents, hence why her anger and fear look like younger versions of her dad's, while her joy and disgust came mainly from her mother with sadness being a mix of both parents and that as she matures they would become more like her and less like her parents.
  • Word of God confirms that the genders of the emotions don't have any meaning for the person they inhabit. Her parents could have had a mix, she could have had one female emotion and the rest male, etc.

    Disgusting Fashion 
  • Why is Disgust in charge of what clothes Riley chooses to wear?
  • Probably because she knows exactly what Riley shouldn't wear. As in: clothes that would be clashing, tacky, etc.
  • Disgust's role is to "keep Riley from being poisoned." From a mental perspective, being judged, singled-out, or otherwise prejudiced against based on appearance could be considered a form of psychological poisoning, since it can have a harmful effect (bullies picking on her over something like that, people thinking she's weird and not wanting to be friends with her, self-esteem issues because people insult her appearance).
  • Disgust is a generalized "I should reject X" emotion, so while her initial purpose was to avert Riley putting anything toxic in her mouth, she's evolved into a broader "I don't like that, it's nasty/dumb/boring/lame" attitude. Hence, sarcasm and judgement are in her purview, and she'll probably be the one to turn boys down once the Big Red Button for "Puberty" gets pressed.
    • God forbid if Disgust takes over during high school, because Riley's gonna have a lot of "Whatever!" to say.
  • Disgust is the first emotion to show visual discernment ("that's not dinosaur-shaped or brightly colored!") That probably continued to be part of her domain as Riley grew.

  • Why could Joy remember Bing Bong? After his disappearance, Joy referred to him by name. Joy is part of Riley's mind, so she should not have that information.
    • Yes, she's part of Riley's mind, ie Headquarters, where they make and watch Riley's memories, some where Bing-Bong resides in. So she would know about Bing-Bong before this, and in fact, all the emotions would.
      • That was not the question. The question was how Joy remembered him after his disappearance, because it has been established that once you fall down that pit and fade out, you'll be forgotten forever. As for the question itself, my guess is that maybe they don't forget instantly.
      • It's established that Riley forgets whatever falls into the pit instantly, not necessarily the emotions. The emotions and Riley are symbiotic with each other, but they also have a certain degree of autonomy, and while Riley has no knowledge of what happens within the inner dimension inside her head it's likely the emotions retain some kind of memories of happens in there (Joy and Sadness, for example, probably retain all sorts of memories of their adventures that Riley has no access to). So since they directly interacted with Bing-Bong, it's possible (perhaps even likely) Joy and Sadness at least will be able to retain some kind of memories of him that Riley herself cannot access.
    • It actually makes sense from the Real Life point of view. Some familiar object can invoke emotional response even if the actual memories connected to it are no longer consciously remembered. The emotions do remember.
  • Joy promised Bing-Bong that she would take Riley to the moon for him (in her imagination, of course). But after Bing-Bong disappeared and Joy made the promise, her focus was on Sadness until the resolution. But after everything is resolved, how come there's no nod to Joy's promise to him?
    • Probably because the filmmakers simply couldn't figure out a way to work one in in a way that worked for the story they wanted to tell, if indeed they considered doing so important or necessary enough to try. It's not like Bing Bong hadn't already had a powerfully emotional climax to his story by that point, or that Joy hadn't already made a point of promising Bing Bong that she would fulfill his last request (as much as possible). Having a scene wherein Joy reiterates how sad Bing Bong's disappearance was and/or reiterates her promise to him is just repeating information the audience already has — that Joy was saddened by Bing Bong's loss and is willing to try and fulfill his last wish as much as possible. Bluntly speaking, Bing Bong's story is completed at that point and he's only a secondary character (albeit a much-loved one) to begin with, so the filmmakers presumably could find or saw no reason to include something that would just underscore the story points that had already been made concerning him.
    • Also? The story takes place over two days when Riley is 11 and not, for instance, a NASA astronaut. Promise to an imaginary friend or not, there are certain logistics problems with fulfilling that promise in any kind of time frame that fits with this movie.

     Sadness' Role 
So Riley's Emotions "don't know what Sadness's role is". ... how come? Why her? Shouldn't Sadness be equal among the other 4 Emotions in terms of knowing what your reason for existing is and what your value is to the team? Anger, Fear and Disgust are also "negative" emotions and yet Joy doesn't have any problem treating them like one of the team! Why single out Sadness?
  • Her mistreatment causes her to want to do something, which ends up ruining everything in Headquarters. Maybe the whole plot is to realize Sadness has her own unique role that is required to keep Riley in check.
  • Joy was Riley's first experienced emotion, thus, she is the leader. Everyone on the team wants to follow whatever the leader does, so most of Riley's memories are happy ones, making her an overall happy person. Therefore, it's Sadness who gets the brunt of the disadvantages from that.
  • Most kids who don't have some sort of family-related trauma never seriously experience sadness until adolescence, and from the trailers, Riley seems to have had a pretty idyllic childhood. It makes sense that while Riley only has "kid" level types of sadness, Sadness seems to have no useful purpose. Reviews indicate that this question is at the core of the film.
  • In the opening scenes, Joy explains what each of the other emotions is for, showing that even the "negative" ones have a practical use. Fear keeps Riley safe, Anger makes sure things are fair, and Disgust keeps her from being poisoned (physically or socially). Finding out how Sadness can be useful is arguably the whole point of the movie, since it helps Riley deal with the trauma of having her life uprooted, a tragic event that is like nothing she experienced before. Her purpose seems to be to help with emotional healing after something terrible happens, and Riley simply hasn't had anything that bad happen to her up until now. It's also possible that Joy is being an Unreliable Narrator; she's basically the exact opposite of Sadness, and seems to believe that Riley should be happy 24/7, so naturally she can't understand why Sadness would be necessary. The other emotions don't seem to argue for Riley always being Scared/Angry/Disgusted, it's only Joy who thinks that way.
  • To quote from elsewhere on this wiki, "Riley breaks down in front of her parents, telling them they always want her to be happy." As a child, she's been kept happy. This is why Joy is in charge. This is also why she doesn't know how to cope with and understand sadness beyond a basic level of "It's when I feel bad." As the whole movie points out, sadness can be helpful in leading and controlling other emotions and signaling others when something is wrong.
  • Sadness is the one emotion whose role is oriented towards affecting other peoples' behavior, not Riley's own. Her benefit is passive/receptive, not active, so Joy overlooks its significance early on. The fact that Riley's parents seem to have dealt with their infant daughter's tears by distracting her and trying to cheer her up ("Who's a silly monkey...?") only obscured Sadness's real purpose further, such that by the time Riley was old enough that she should have been feeling sad from time to time, Joy was interceding to add a load of yellow spheres every time a blue sphere was created, masking the fact that Sadness wasn't actually doing Riley any good.
    • That being said, if let out she can be pretty destructive since she single-handedly corrupted Riley's good thoughts and turned them into moments of depression .
      • No. You're pretty much missing the whole point of the movie there. Depression, which this movie accurately depicts, is not just generic sadness. It's actually a complete absence of joy or sadness. People who are depressed are often too emotionally drained to feel anything and when they do it's usually either fear, anger or disgust at their own state of mind. Allowing yourself to be sad is pretty much the first step to getting past depression. Sadness' role in making those core memories 'sad' is the natural process of Riley feeling homesick, not a 'corruption' of fond memories.
  • They know what her job is: Make Riley feel sad. They just don't know why they need someone doing that job. It's important for Riley to be happy. To keep her safe, there are times when it's important for her to feel afraid, disgusted, or angry in order to protect her. But why is it important for Riley to feel sad sometimes? How is that a good thing? Why does Riley ever need to feel sad? That, they didn't know.
  • It is also perhaps worth noting that Sadness legitimately can seem like a bit of The Load at times. Consider the scene when Joy and Sadness have found themselves lost inside Long-Term Memory and the first island has collapsed, where Sadness's immediate reaction is to cry and mope and require Joy to drag her around. Joy's not entirely wrong or unfair or cruel to point out that this isn't really a very useful or helpful response to the situation. Sadness by nature isn't always a positive thing; Sadness can mean moping, self-pity, sulking about a problem instead of actually confronting it. While Joy and the others are wrong to dismiss her out of hand, it is fair to point out that her usefulness can sometimes be called into question and / or seem a bit harder to fathom than the other emotions.
    • You could say the same about the logical extreme of any emotion in the group really; Joy could make someone overly optimistic and possibly insensitive(on top of the downsides to "always happy" we see in the film); Anger can make someone prone to rash decisions and inappropriate bursts of rage, Fear could result in paranoia and irrational phobias, and Disgust could result in an It's All About Me attitude as someone cares only about what's perfect for them. No emotion is perfect, and the fact that no emotion is better or worse than the others is pretty much the driving point of the film.
    • Yes, but the OP's question is asking specifically why the other emotions fail to recognise that Sadness might be useful. The other emotions have by that point demonstrated why they are useful, but Sadness hasn't, meaning that the qualities that might make her The Load in particular stand out more.

    Lucid Dream Movie 
  • How would lucid dreaming work?
  • Maybe the control station shuts down?
  • Well, in the dream studio, it's shown that the sleeping person is the camera, so presumably they'd just appear as themselves in place of it, and depending on their level of awareness and control they might take over for the director. Although that does raise the question about the filter put on the camera.
    • So maybe, if the camera filter was turned off and Riley was somehow able to lucid dream, she could appear within her own mind and see everything like would be the case in the original plan for the film.
      • This is exactly what happens in the fan fiction Intercom: Anger accidentally breaks the intercom that's occasionally used by the emotions to act as a "conscience"-type voice, preventing the microphone from being turned off. As a result, Riley gets to know her emotions, and Joy eventually gets the idea to use this method to allow Riley to explore her mind.
    • Or maybe we'd just see instructions materializing in the hand of whoever's directing the dream, as if by magic. It seems like most of the brain workers just follow whatever instructions they're given, so that would do the trick nicely.
  • Perhaps the studios create dreams as usual, but the dreamer is exploring other parts of their mind and can't see them.
  • Maybe it's when the emotions have a videogame night instead of movie night.
  • They might just decide to go No Fourth Wall replace Riley's VA with a mind reading speaker and then just do impro to fill in the blanks.

    Handy Recall Tube 
  • When seeing how the Triple Gum Commercial gets sent to Riley's mind, why didn't Joy attempt to use the Recall to send the Core Memories back so Riley could at least have re-powered Islands?]]
    • Well, if Sadness touching the Core Memories changes the spheres from Joy to Sadness, why wouldn't the other emotions have the same effect? Maybe Joy didn't want to risk it.
    • But when they try to replace Hockey's Core memory Fear handles several memories without turning them purple. true this was when Joy wasn't around so she wouldn't have seen it happen, but I assume others have handled cross-emotion memories before.
    • It hasn't happened since Sadness started turning memories blue, though... so for all she knows, the rules have changed.
  • It's possible that Joy didn't want the Core Memories leaving her sight. She's highly protective of them, after all.
  • In the end when the Core Memories were brought back to Headquarters (now sad), Riley didn't really react to them until Sadness touched the console. Goofball Island was needed for Riley to slide down a railing, and Disgust called Joy over specifically to make Riley slide. Perhaps, with the Core Memories being happy ones, Joy would have to activate the console herself to make Riley feel happy about them. Even if Goofball Island was lit while Joy was gone, Anger might just make Riley angry at the railing or something.
    • I was figuring they couldn't use the tubes because each spot on the shelf is only useful toward the one memory that belongs there. In real life, the brain acts like a computer, storing memories in certain places in long-term; in movie terms, trying to use a memory in a spot on the shelf that's not its own might mean something like, say: trying to recall the answer to a question on your history test, and instead you end up remembering about those meatballs you had for dinner last Tuesday. Something like that.
      • In order to send up the Tripledent Gum jingle, the mind workers take down another memory and put the gum jingle in it's place. Safe to say location doesn't matter.
      • True, but what makes the gum jingle an Ear Worm is that it gets recalled and sent up even when Riley and her emotions don't want it to, which makes it come off as annoying and irritating. Sending up the core memories might do something similar - instead of helping Riley reflect on what's wrong with her or try to make things better, it might just irritate her or make her even more sad and upset.

    Tainted Sadness 
  • How come when Sadness touches a happy memory, it turns sad, but when one of the other emotions touch one, it remains happy?
    • Because Riley's happy memories of the past are now tainted by depression after the family's move to San Francisco. It's not that Sadness is "contaminating" the core memories, but she's representing Riley's change in perspective due to current circumstances.
    • Are you sure that Sadness's touch didn't just rewind them to the sad parts of the memories? I think that was only ever properly explained for one memory.
    • The emotions Sadness tainted didn't necessarily all have a sad element to them— but as mentioned above, the movie is explaining that Sadness is an emotion that can be felt retroactively. Which is not to say that emotions such as Fear or Disgust can't be— if Riley was attacked by a dog and developed a fear of dogs, for instance, Fear might be able to color every memory Riley had of interacting with dogs, even if they were happy ones— but the reason Sadness can taint happy memories in the movie is because Riley is subconsciously feeling homesick for Minnesota and is unable to express it properly. Before she'd been uprooted, she could look back on those memories and think "that was a great time I had", but now those memories have an added wistful sentiment to them: "and it'll never happen again". Haven't we all felt a little sad when looking back on the good times we had when we were younger?

  • Do the emotions have Emotions as well?
    • Considering there are times when the emotions react in a way not like the emotion they represent (Joy being sad, for example), it seems possible that each emotion has its own set of emotions controlling them. And if that's true, how far down inside does this go?
    • If the emotions in the emotions' heads followed the original emotions' trend of being more likely to exhibit their given emotion than the person they lived in, maybe it would only go down a few levels until they hit emotions that feel absolutely nothing but the one thing and therefore don't need little people in their head. Alternatively, the emotions feel emotions the same way we do, and don't have their own little people.
    • They don't really spend that much time not acting like the emotion they represent, and the few times they do are either in extreme circumstances or are a skewed version of their normal way of acting anyway. Joy only becomes truly sad in a situation where there is apparently no hope to be found whatsoever, and she quickly snaps out of it once a way out of that situation presents itself. Conversely, the other emotions only seem to experience, say, happiness as a skewed version of their default emotional trait. Sadness only seems to be anything we'd consider as 'happy' as a result of sad situations (her favourite 'happy' movie is one where a dog apparently dies, after all), we only see Fear anything close to happy and relaxed when it's clear the day's over and Riley clearly isn't going to die from anything, Anger seems permanently a hair-trigger away from completely losing it, and Disgust seems to experience happiness primarily in the form of smug triumph, which is fitting for her overall disdainful personality. It seems that the emotions themselves primarily represent their dominant emotional trait, but are capable of showing others if the situation calls for it (but aren't capable of passing them on to Riley). So it's likely that the emotions don't have emotions of their own, or if they do they're much less varied and nuanced than the ones that exist in a human.
  • Again, they're not actually human. Personally I feel like they don't so much have emotions as they have each other. Joy is happiness incarnate. If she needs to feel sad, as she became in the pit, it is due to her growing empathic link to Sadness. She never tried to form a bond with Sadness before. But once she had, she started to (subconsciously) grasp the concept and the link.

    Unhelpful Mind 
  • Why are the workers in Riley's mind so unhelpful-to-outright-obstructive in getting Joy and Sadness back where they belong? Isn't preventing 2/5s of the primary mental functions of the world they live in from making it back kind of like trying to keep the pilots away from the controls of the ship you're on? If something happens to Riley while Anger's driving, you guys are going down too.
    • Answer One is Rule of Funny. Answer Two is that most of the mental functions of the brain that they're responsible for — retaining or deleting memory, creating thoughts, dreams, etc — aren't really emotion dependent. If Anger's in control and Joy and Sadness aren't anywhere to be found, that means that Riley's emotionally unbalanced, but she's not mentally unbalanced. Unless she's suffered some kind of major physical trauma she'll still be capable of rational thought, will still generate memories which will have to stored, will still forget stuff which will be gotten rid of, is still going to dream when she falls asleep, and so forth. Simply put, it's the anthropomorphic-mental-activity equivalent of "it's not my problem"; it might suck for Riley in the long term, but meanwhile in the short term there's still US Presidents to be forgotten. Although do note that everyone starts to get a bit panicky when Riley's running away from home, as if they're beginning to realise that things might be getting pretty out of whack.
    • Intentional or not, it seemed like a pretty apt reflection of real-life departmentalised working environments, where each sector is focused on getting through their day's work and consequentially develops a blindspot when it comes to the interdependence of everyone's jobs. Like the above post says, it's a not-my-problem attitude transposed into the workings of a human psyche.
    • The brain-workers represent basic structural functions of Riley's brain. The emotions have no direct effect on them, and generally can't interact meaningfully with them. Think about it. Are you in control of the inner workings of your brain? Can you stop yourself from forgetting things just because they used to make you happy when you were a toddler? Can you stop yourself from dreaming things because the dreams are making you sad? Can you deliberately access your own subconscious? These are exactly the sort of things Joy is trying to do- and she can't. The closest she comes to meaningful interaction with the "staff" of Riley's brain is when she manages to get thrown into her subconscious. Which she does by doing exactly the same thing any other mental construct that gets thrown in there does- making trouble for the staff.
      • A lot of that type of thing can be possible with practice, such as through meditation. But the fact remains that Riley most likely hasn't had any such practice—perhaps if she did, they would be more cooperative, not just with her emotions, but with her.
      • Possible exception to this when Joy, Sadness, and Bing-Bong get rescued from the Train of Thought. What about that?
    • Nothing on the Train of Thought was supposed to be forgotten yet, but Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong were the only things they could save.
      • Based on this, it's perfectly possible that after this disaster, they will realise how important it is to co-ordinate and in doing so it matures Riley's mind further. Presumably in a healthy adult's mind the two departments work together very closely.

    Uncorruptive Joy 
  • Why can't Joy corrupt sad memories, yet Sadness can easily corrupt Joyous memories?
    • Sadness is the only one with that ability because that's what she's supposed to do. The memories are only a reminder of what Riley's lost, so Sadness can corrupt them.
    • This corruption is existing because Riley misses her home. The emotions have never experienced corruption before because Riley has never been this traumatized before. This explains why Riley is having such a strong mental breakdown. Many Americans don't like expressing sadness because our culture sees it as weak, but once Riley is allowed to experience that, the corruption is no longer as severe: thus the memories can have mixed emotions now. It's all part of growing up.
    • Could this mean that this can happen in reverse? Suppose someone becomes The Pollyanna, meaning that Joy could ergo corrupt memories.
      • There's no reason why it couldn't; memories change as we grow older and our perceptions cause us to view them differently. In fact, it arguably did happen; the memory of Riley missing the shot in the playoffs game was initially a sad one, but then her friends cheering her up caused it to become a happy one.
  • I assumed it was simply because Riley was missing her home, and remembering all the happy times she had there just made her sad because she wasn't there any more and wouldn't see those people and do those things again. Kind of like how after a loved one dies, remembering the fun you had with them is going to make you sad because you'll never see them again. I assume that over time (and once Riley had better control over her emotions) the orb would have simply blended yellow and blue like the new core memory at the end, but since the emotional wound was still fresh (and Riley's never really felt that deeply sad about something before) it turned blue.
  • Actually, it's possible that Joy already has been "corrupting" memories, all along, in her misguided attempts to keep Riley happy all the time. While some of the core memories were naturally yellow/joyous ones, the core memory for Honesty Island probably shouldn't have been Joy's at all. It's one of toddler Riley getting caught and scolded for breaking something, which rightfully should have been any other color - purple for Fear of punishment, blue for the Sadness of regret, green for the Disgust with herself that is shame, or red for Anger at getting caught. The only real "joy" in such a situation, if any, would be a touch of relief when her parents, pleased that she owned up to her misdeed, relented from punishing her, and that's more a lack of the others than a presence of joyfulness. Yet somehow, that sphere wound up Joy yellow! So perhaps, when Riley was being scolded, Joy snatched up a core memory that should have been another color and turned it yellow, letting relief overwhelm and obscure the dominant emotions that rightfully would've been evoked by such circumstances.
    • As a slight modification of this, maybe memories get "corrupted" by the prevailing mood of whatever situation Riley's in. If Riley's happy nearly all the time, her memories get overwritten with happiness whether it makes sense or not. Now Riley's in an unhappy situation, and while her sadness is being repressed by other emotions, that doesn't make the sadness go away. So now practically every memory she has, including green, red, and purple ones, is susceptible to being turned blue. We see this because of the change of color of the bottom rows when Sadness is dragged past. It's not just the happy memories changing. Speculatively, if Riley went through a phase of constant fear or anger or disgust, we might see lots of memories being turned to the corresponding color in the same way.
    • The problem here is that what Sadness is doing is not corruption, and referring to it as such misses one of the movie's main messages. Because of the move, Riley's happy memories are now being associated with sad feelings, represented by them turning blue. But we see through the course of the movie that this change in memory colour is just a part of growing up. The memory of losing the playoffs seems like a happy one, until you go back far enough and realize that it starts blue before turning yellow when her parents and friends cheer Riley up, and at the end of the movie all of Riley's memories are being made in two colours instead of just one. As she matures, Riley is able to feel multiple emotions about the events of her life, and memories turning blue when Sadness approaches them is just the start of that process.
      • To be fair, the other emotions clearly view it (initially at least) as corruption. They're wrong to do so, admittedly, but for the majority of the movie that's what the characters themselves view it as, and as a term to describe what's happening it's not completely inaccurate (albeit negatively loaded; 'altering' or 'converting' would be better choices).

     Is this a remake of Toy Story? 
  • Joy (Woody) is the obvious leader of a group of small creatures (toys/emotions) and enjoys her dominance. However, their leadership is challenged by the newcomer (mainly how Sadness is introduced after Joy as a baby) who, while not trying to be harmful, is annoying the leader (Sadness/Buzz). In an attempt to restrict them (knock Buzz off a desk/"circle of sadness") things go too far (window/the tube) and both the old leader and the screwball go on a journey to return home before their child (Andy/Riley) loses them forever.
    • It's simply similar storytelling principles, like how the Hero's Journey is one of the most widely used storytelling concepts.
    • It's Pixar. You can practically perform a simple word swap and pretty much substitute this for nearly every Pixar movie and it would make sense. (Note that I said "Nearly", before you bring up examples like Cars 2 or Monsters U) As the person above me said, it's similar story telling principles - You can pretty much word swap a lot of movies and books that use the "Hero's Journey" for example and it'll still make sense.
    • In spite of the similar storytelling techniques used in both, there are many differences. The biggest differences is that the Toy Story protagonist was jealous of the more-popular newcomer, and they become friends when he learns to get over that; whereas the popular, respected Inside Out protagonist, very secure in her leadership, looks down on the outcast of the group just like their companions do, and they become friends when she learns to respect and trust her. The rivalry in Toy Story is driven by Woody's Envy; the conflict between 2 opposites in Inside Out is driven by Joy's Pride.
      • So, to recap: no, this isn't a remake of Toy Story.
    • This is more than rehashing the Hero's Journey, Pixar movies as good as they are have the same plot, save some exceptions (like Cars 2), and this plot is; someone gets separated from his/hers love one alongside a character they don't like or don't feel comfortable with (Woody and Buzz, Marlin and Dory, Joy and Sadness, Sully-Wachowsky and Boo, Arlo and the human child, etc.), in order to re-unite with their love ones they pass through lots of adventures and in the process the two characters bond and the reluctant character learns to appreciate the other character that he/she disliked before, and then they re-unite with the love one. Of course this is a general description, each movie has its own particularities, but is the basic plot. This is not an attack on Pixar which is incredibly talented in doing this.
    • I suppose it's the same kind of thing as any writer having common themes they want to explore, common plots they use to explore them, common character archetypes they like to draw on, etc. We could probably break down any writer's works on such a basic/simplistic level if we were so inclined; for example, with maybe a few exceptions pretty much all of Agatha Christie's oeuvre becomes something roughly like "a murder happens —> the characters investigate it —> numerous characters fall under suspicion of being the murderer —> the real murderer is exposed and the characters/reader are told how it was done". Thing is, what makes them fun to read is that watching Hercule Poirot solve the crime is a different experience to watching Miss Marple do so, that the way this plot plays out in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is different to how it plays out in And Then There Were None or The Body in the Library, and so forth. So while this is probably quite a fair and accurate point to make, it does tend to overlook the fact that story structure by itself isn't the sole purpose of storytelling, and part of the fun is the specific ways in which these stories differ. To put it simply, while Toy Story and Inside Out may tell the same kind of story, part of the fun is watching how Woody and Buzz go through it differently to Joy and Sadness.

     Emotion for Hunger 
  • How does hunger work in this world?
    • Just like how it does anywhere else? The emotions don't have direct control over Riley's physical functions and they can only at best guide Riley's actions. Riley herself is still fully self aware, so if she feels hungry, she'll naturally try to find food. The emotion that would have the most say in what Riley would eat or not might be Disgust, to make sure she doesn't accidentally poison herself.
    • Hunger is a "drive", not an emotion. Even someone who is emotionally numbed, like Riley was when the console froze over, can still experience hunger, thirst, or exhaustion. Possibly "drives" have their own secondary control room somewhere.
    • I can imagine all the emotions fighting over the menu at a restaurant as she gets older. Junk food is disgusting and makes her fat but it tastes so good! Then again she could get food poisoning or broccoli. Going to the restaurant could even be Sadness's idea in the first place.
    • Okay. An important thing to know is that to be hungry and want food, you need to have dopamine other wise you have no urge to eat at all. This applies the same for other drives such as love, interests and desires. So there wouldn't be an emotion of hunger or any other drive since dopamine is a drug made by your brain, which comes from a joy. So pretty much joy kinda is the emotion of hunger because you gain dopamine from feeling joy or thrill from a situation. Which is why depressed people don't have urges to eat, they don't have much dopamine.
    • Hunger is processed in the hypothalamus, whereas conscious emotions are experienced in particular areas of the cerebrum, such as the cingulate gyrus and amygdala. Headquarters and the adjacent areas seem to be associated with cerebral brain functions, not hypothalamic. Particular emotions would likely be associated with appetite - the psychological desire to eat - but the physiological drive to eat would come from elsewhere, demanding the intake of required nutrients (e.g. cravings for carbs, proteins, etc) while leaving it mostly up to Disgust and Joy to bicker about what form of food to eat (e.g. whether to have pizza or a burger for lunch) or maybe to resist this need completely if Riley's on a diet.

    Sad Personality Island 
  • Did the first sad core memory ever run a Personality Island? While it wasn't as important to the narrative at the moment, the sad core memory of Riley's breakdown in class is not seen lighting up a new Personality Island, though Joy does return it to Sadness's hands as a gesture of apology and respect. What did that sad core memory eventually light up?]]
    • I don't think we ever found out, but given the context it was formed (Riley remembering her life in Minnesota) I imagine that it would have powered an island based around how much Riley missed her life in Minnesota. To go into WMG territory a bit, however, I'm hypothesizing that core memories don't have to be plugged in (although obviously, if none are plugged in bad things happen) or can be replaced by new core memories, and if they're not plugged in they're simply stored away and begin to fade away like regular memories. Thus, the old core memories (including the original blue one) probably weren't necessarily plugged in as Riley began to form new core memories around her life in San Francisco).
  • Remember the Abstraction Chamber? It was processing the concept "loneliness" for a reason. Possibly if Joy had allowed the blue core memory to move into its slot normally, a Loneliness Island or Homesickness Island would have arisen.
  • We also didn't really see what happened after they got a new family island. Presumably, they wouldn't need the old one after that, but at the same time, they obviously managed to get a new friendship and hockey island in after a year or so. So either they plugged the memories back in to run, or they just sent them to long term, hoping to create new cores as a "fresh start" now that Sadness is now fully part of the team. No doubt, it's a detail that got glossed over for the sake of the plot, but you just don't know.
    • The new Hockey Island has a red+yellow core memory instead of the old plain yellow; safe to say the old ones were ditched.
  • I believe we did see it though, after Riley and her parents hugged- it had the Golden Gate Bridge on it, and other stops from their cross-country trip.
    • That wasn't created from the blue I-Miss-Minnesota sphere, it was for the new blue-and-yellow My-Parents-Understand-My-Homesickness sphere.
    • I imagine it would form a Loneliness/I miss home island, which would suck but serve to allow Riley to effectively deal with that stuff rather than... say, running away from every negative situation because she doesn't know how to handle it. In time the Island would hopefully mutate into a 'Dealing with bad stuff' island and make her more psychologically durable, or simply fade away.
  • Going in a different direction, I think the memory was not so much about missing Minnesota (that's already accounted for with all the other memories turning blue) but about telling her class so and crying in front of them. This would add a new element to her personality: openness about her feelings. It might have powered a new "Openness/Vunerability Island", or it might have contributed power to Honesty Island, i.e., now she's honest about her feelings as well as events. With that new core memory in place, at the dinner table that night Riley tells the truth about her day being sad because she misses Minnesota, her parents admit to missing it too and comfort her, Family Island and Honesty Island (and the new core memory's island, if there is one) get built up, and Riley has grown emotionally. Instead the memory got dumped, so it was a much longer and dangerous process to get to the same result.

    Must Touch Memories! 
  • What drives Sadness to constantly touch memories and making them sad, even when she keeps insisting she won't do it again? It seems as though Sadness has an uncontrollable urge to randomly touch whatever memory is being played for Riley, and she doesn't really have a good argument about why she does it, claiming that she "maybe wanted to hold one", instead of explaining that maybe Riley needs to feel sad at the moment. Considering that, at the time, she doesn't know her true purpose, and every single emotion considers Sadness touching a memory to be a bad thing (not to mention she keeps saying she won't do it again), what compels her to constantly touch memories? Is it some uncontrollable urge? Does she go in a zombie-like state and not realize she's touching anything until someone else notifies her?
  • It is apparently some sort of an impulse; Sadness is drawn to things that are sad (or that need to be sad) and those specific memories needed to be turned sad so that Riley could deal with them and work through her feelings about the move. It was the natural response to thinking about things that you might not have again and that you'll miss, it's just that none of the emotions knew that so they just saw it as Sadness messing things up.
  • FWIW one of the official novelisations contains a chapter detailing the movie from Sadness's point of view, and it's hinted that the memories actually were calling out to her, or at least were drawing her towards them. Even after she knew that she turned happy memories sad, she still wanted to touch them.

    Fear Failing to Flee 
  • Why is that when Fear tried to quit he was spit back out by the tube, but when Joy and Sadness were accidentally sucked up they weren't?
  • Considering that it also spat out a whole load of presumably to-be-discarded memory globes as well, I assume that Fear, being the Butt-Monkey that he is, simply pressed the wrong button.
  • The tube jammed with memory globes when Fear tried to use it, hence why it spat him back.
    • Specifically, it was jammed with red, purple and green balls - ie: the three of them had been racking up a huge amount of angry, fearful and disgusting memories over the past day or so, more than the system could handle.
    • Joy and Sadness were sucked up more easily because they were sucked up after all of the memory orbs had been, so they had a clean shot up. Fear didn't have this factor.

    Spread the Sadness 
  • Why is Sadness able to turn so many memories sad? Sadness turns the core memories sad, and it's implied she's able to do this because they were meant to be sad memories now after the move affected them. But what about the ones she was touching in Long Term Memory? Did there just happen to be a long line of memories that were also affected by the move?
  • Those may have been incidental memories but still set about things Riley missed from Minnesota. "Tripledent gum! I remember that being so nice when I first heard it... back home..."
  • They were almost certainly also memories from Minnesota; approximately 99.99999999...% of Riley's life-experiences (and consequently memories) would have involved Minnesota in some way. So yeah, Sadness was able to easily change them because they were related to the move from Minnesota, so if / when Riley reflects on them they'll at least be a little bit sad because they remind her of Minnesota.
  • Given Sadness was almost unable to help touching memories, I wonder if the connection between Riley and her emotions is two way.

    Third Person Memories 
  • Why are all of Riley's memories in the third person? Since the emotions see everything through Riley's eyes, shouldn't her memories be the same?
  • The same reason why flashbacks in movies are in third person: clarity for the audience.
  • Memories are more than what you can see or hear at that time. If you include things like proprioperception and object permanence you can get an overall idea of the surroundings. As pointed above, it's easier to represent this by showing the memories in third person.
  • The emotions have to be able to assess the contents of memories in order to select which ones should be recalled or preserved as core memories. It's probably easier for them to tell what's going on and evaluate a memory's importance if they can see Riley amidst her surroundings, rather than looking out of her eyes.
    • I have a memory that I always recall in third-person, for some reason or another.
  • People do have memories in the "observer" perspective. Some of the memories in Long Term Storage seem to be in the first-person, including quite a few that appear to be from Riley watching Up. It may just be that the Core memories, because they're primarily centered on Riley's relationship with other people, are observer memories.

     Disgust An Emotion? 
  • I know that Disgust's job is to keep Riley from being poisoned, physically and socially, but couldn't that fall under Fear? Kind of like how Surprise was omitted from the film because it falls under Fear?
  • Disgust encompasses concepts like revulsion, which Fear doesn't include.
  • She's not just about rejecting food, any more than Sadness is just about crying babies. She may have started out that way when Riley was an infant, but she evolves into a broader "I reject X" emotion, allowing Riley to experience a dislike for whatever's yucky/tacky/boring/lame/dumb. She's essential to Riley's ability to make choices that aren't related to immediate danger, which is Fear's purview.
  • It's on the Main page somewhere: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear are 5 of the 6 main emotions in psychology. The sixth is Surprise, but they thought Fear had that covered.

    Baby Emotions 
  • Do the emotions exist in any form in-utero? Does human emotion, at least in this story, just start from birth? Or did Riley's emotions exist in some form when her mother was pregnant with her?
  • WMG indeed. One could say that emotions are only summoned after Riley's brain has developed enough to do so. Considering there's a rather large magical aspect of it all, I don't see much reason for the emotions to be raised from an embryo, like a person.
  • It's debatable that anyone would actually need emotions before birth, as a fetus doesn't have choices to make and its limited capacity for movement has no directed purpose, the way a baby's crying does. Unless there are prenatal complications that disrupt its environment, in which case Fear might possibly pop into existence ahead of schedule, it's likely that emotions don't actually manifest until they have something useful to do.
  • Considering that Riley's joy came into being after Riley was born, no. After all, in-utero humans only need certain basic functions.
  • So, in utero, fetuses are essentially asleep. There's even some anesthetic qualities in the amniotic fluid. There have actually been cases of babies being born with the amniotic sac still intact and they don't wake up or anything. They're not awake in there, so they don't really have emotions.

    Riley Back In The Game 
  • How is Riley on the hockey team at the end if she performed poorly during tryouts and left before it ended?
  • It's been a year. In that time there were presumably other try-outs and other teams, one of which she did better at. It's a kid's hockey league, not the NHL or anything, it presumably wasn't a one-time only deal.

    Bing-Bong Lives? 
  • If Riley were to remember Bing-Bong again (perhaps by finding an old drawing of him she made), would Bing-Bong reform in her head and be the same one who remembers journeying with Joy or a different guy based on a new mental image?
    • Implicitly, she can't. We're told that memories that end in the Memory Dump are forgotten entirely. For Riley, this is entirely plausible — Bing Bong was an imaginary friend she played with when she was three, and has already been defunct for a while by the time she turns eleven. It makes sense that she would forget all about him. If, say, her parents told her she used to have such an imaginary friend, it might probably create knowledge of Bing Bong, but not recreate the memory of him.
    • It's important to remember that Bing Bong is not a memory, but a figment of her imagination. If she still has any memories of him on the shelves somewhere, she can remember him. But she currently can't imagine him, since he's gone. Though I'd guess that if she wanted to, she could imagine him again anew, gong by what she remembers, as long as she does it before those memories are gone. The problem is that she's well past the age where she has a reason to do it.
    • I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I've found old drawings that my parents told me I did, but I have no recollection of them and they have no significance to me. Apparently my mind workers dumped them into the Memory Dump at some point and the reminder becomes a new memory of my parents telling me I made that. Now if he was one of those nearly black, almost dumped memories that was still on the shelf when she finds a drawing of him, she'd have one of those "Oh, I remember that!" sort of recollections. That's how I'd interpret how it should work, but you may have hit upon the Hand Wave the creators will use if and when they apply the First Law of Resurrection.

    Riley's teeth falling out. 
  • In Riley's classroom nightmare, why do we see her teeth falling out from above the camera? If it's supposed to be Riley's first person perspective, shouldn't the teeth be falling from below the camera, which is in her eyes?
    • It's a dream. Weird, nonsensical stuff happens all the time in dreams. Broccoli shouldn't talk either, but it started talking in her first dream after the move.
    • Don't quote me on this, but but don't your teeth falling our in your dreams mean you said something you shouldn't have/regret? So maybe she feels she said too much and shouldn't have broken down like that in front of the class?
      • You both seem to be missing the point — the Headscratcher is that the falling teeth shouldn't appear falling from above from Riley's first person perspective, not that they fell out at all.
      • Yeah, I get that that's the OP's point — my point is that it's still an example of dream imagery. It's illogical and doesn't make sense, but lots of things that happen in dreams are illogical and don't make sense. Riley's dream involves teeth falling out, so she sees teeth falling out even though she shouldn't.
    • She probably has to see them falling to be aware of them. Very few people actually experience tactile sensations, tastes, or smells in their dreams, so Riley couldn't have just "felt" them falling out.
      • Perhaps. It's been theorized that the common "teeth falling out" dream is caused by grinding your teeth IRL while sleeping.

    Bing-Bong the Thief? 
  • When we first see Bing Bong, he's stealing memories off the shelf and dumping them in his bag. Apparently he's not being picky about which ones he takes, either. It's never revisited - Joy has more important things on her mind, and he quits before Sadness catches up (not that she comments when he dumps several bazillion of them out to put the core memories in). He never seems too interested in trying again, though once we meet him we start getting away from Long-Term Storage. What exactly is he up to? No one seems especially interested in the long-term memories except Joy (who's a little anal about them) and the Memory Workers (who are just junking them and messing around with them anyway), and it's not like we see much of an economy in the mindscape even if anyone wanted to buy them.
    • I think he just wants to watch them again. It's shown in the movie that you can rewatch a memory globe just by sliding your finger back and forth (kind of like swiping your finger on a touch-phone to rewind a song or movie or something). I imagine they're all memories Riley has of him, and he probably just wants to relive all the fun he had playing with her.
    • Old drafts of the movie clarify he's addicted to taking memories of himself and Riley.
    • He may be protecting himself, consciously or not, by keeping the memory bank workers from messing with or dumping them.
    • The way I interpreted it was that he was creating a sort of 'playlist' for him and Riley to watch when they finally went on that adventure he was talking about, something to talk about on the way to the moon.

     Few Ways Back Home 
  • Why are there only so many routes to the Emotions' headquarters?
  • It's not like they expect the emotions to eject themselves through the memory tube, nor do the emotions ever need to interfere with other parts of the brain's operation.
  • There actually weren't any real routes. They were all improvised. Every single route in and out involved using the tubes and connections (or whatever you want to call the beams connecting the islands to the control room) in ways they weren't meant to be used.
    • The Train of Thought seems to be the favoured way. It runs on a rail high above most places and presumably goes to the station at headquarters with whatever is required for the day.

     What if someone fell into a coma? 
Would parts of Headquarters and everywhere else in the Mind World shut down?
  • Strangely, in the older drafts where Joy and Fear were the two leads, one old concept did have Riley unconscious for the majority of the movie and not much more elaborated. My only guess is that something like the control panel and Train of Thought and other areas would fall temporarily defunct. But this is a What Could Have Been so make of that in your own way.
  • The mind would probably go into a more extreme version of the mode it enters when Riley's asleep, ex. even more departments like Dream Productions shut down. The Emotions don't seem damaged, but they can't work the panel.
  • Considering the state you're in when you're in a coma the entire city, from Dream Studios to the Train of Thought and every single person in it would just shut down completely until that person physically woke up.

    Why didn't Bing Bong's rocket disappear? 
  • Bing Bong started to fade shortly after falling in the memory dump, yet his rocket was unaffected even though it was there before him.
  • He was older all together and already way overdue for deletion.
  • Perhaps 'older' is not the right word; "longer forgotten" might be more appropriate. Riley also probably based the 'rocket' on an actual cart that she once owned and used to play with; I'd imagine you'd find it easier to remember, subconsciously at least, a tangible, physical object like a cart than a completely imaginary construct like Bing-Bong, so the rocket cart held up better than Bing-Bong.
  • It was broken when they got out. Who's to say it's not gone forever?

     Why do the emotions of humans look like cartoony humans, yet the emotions of animals look more realistic? 
  • Every human characters' emotions are cartoony, stylized characters who bear a little resemblance to humans. However, when we see the dog and the cat's emotions, they look exactly like the dog and the cat, but with different colors.
    • Probably because it would have taken too much time and money to create 3D models for all of the dog and cat's different emotions, especially for what was just a very short joke during the credits.
    • The animals' emotions are the same breed as the animal. And you know how we humans often can't tell different dogs or cats apart? That's why they look the same.
    • Animals aren't known for their imaginations. Except maybe cats.

     Why is Jangles considered evil? 
  • Yes, I know he was created from Riley's coulrophobia, but that's not his fault! In fact, being locked away in the Subconscious and literally put to sleep seems rather tragic to me. That, plus the fact that he didn't do anything remotely malicious in the entire movie, he just thought there was a birthday party going on and wanted in on it.
    • Jangles wasn't "put to sleep". He had fallen asleep after kidnapping Bing-Bong. Likewise, nowhere the movie does claim he's evil, just that Riley considers him a negative memory. He's only antagonistic in the sense that Bruce the shark or Emperor Zurg are, just doing what they're programmed to.
    • Ah, so that's what happened! See, what I thought happened was, when Jangles was created inside Riley's mind, the Mind Workers captured him, locked him in the Subconscious, and somehow made him fall asleep forever so that he wouldn't escape. Then, when they captured Bing-Bong, they just decided to put him in the same room as Jangles. Now I understand why Bing-Bong's candy tears had been eaten. But what I don't understand is: when did Jangles kidnap Bing-Bong? He's definitely not the one who brought Bing-Bong into the Subconscious. By the way, I'd just like to say, thank you for not giving a stupid answer like "Because he's a clown and clowns are scary."
    • He kidnapped him because Bing-Bong cries candy and Jangles like free candy. That's why there were all those discarded wrappers.
    • In as much as he's considered 'evil', it's because he's created from Riley's coulrophobia. The emotions basically reflect Riley's own thought processes — her fear of clowns would essentially become their fear of clowns by proxy. Plus, he's a gigantic green-eyed distorted memory who does little but bellow about finding the birthday girl and laugh crazily; he is, at least, a little creepy. And he imprisons Bing-Bong in a cage and forces him to cry to get free candy; that's not exactly a nice thing to do.
    • On watching again, Jangles isn't really considered evil so much as he's considered scary. Something doesn't have to be evil for it to be frightening; I have a deep-seated fear of bugs and insects, but it doesn't mean I think they're evil, it's just that there's something about them I find frightening and repellant. I doubt Riley and her emotions consider the stairs to the basement or Grandma's vacuum cleaner evil either.

     Why is Bing-Bong considered The Scrappy? 
  • The YMMV page says over and over that he is the Scrappy, but never explains why.
    • Some folks have thin skin for characters that act ridiculous.

     How did Riley find her way home? 
  • The bus had already been rolling for a little while when she decided to turn back. She must have an awfully good memory, especially considering she just moved there.
    • Riley is shown owning a smartphone so it's pretty likely she'd have access to a map/GPS app if she got lost.
    • The bus had barely rolled out of the bus station by the time Riley had a change of heart; it wouldn't be that hard to find her way back.
    • No reason she couldn't have asked someone for directions once she came out of her uncommunicative funk, either. Heck, she gets back so quickly that she may have caught a cab.

     How did Riley learn all those curse words so quickly? 
  • Was it from the adults she was riding the bus with?
    • They may not be actual curse words, just words Anger thinks are bad but actually innocent like "gosh" or "guts".
    • It wasn't quickly—that point in the movie is implied to take place a year after the larger events of the film.
    • You'd be surprised at what kids can pick up and how quickly they can learn them. Watching TV, on the playground, surfing the Internet, adults accidentally using a naughty word in earshot... it's not hard. She may possibly have learned a lot of them at an early age and not realised their full implication or meaning until later; how many of us as kids picked up on a word that was carelessly used within our earshot, turned to our parents and innocently asked "Mommy / Daddy, what's a [x]?", only to get bluntly shot down with "Never you mind."
    • It's not that she suddenly learned them all at once, it's that she's reached the age where the words she's been using up to now to express anger, like "you doodoo-head!" sound infantile and Anger can be equipped with something more potent to yell.
    • Just about every kid over age six knows at least one curse word. Riley probably learned them even before the movie began.
    • She's 12 at the end of the movie. Her parents are probably giving her a little more freedom to do things on her own, and that could include seeing a movie intended for an older audience with foul language in it or something.
  • Ever been in a situation where you want to swear but can't think of the right word?

     Why is the movie called "Inside Out?" 
  • The only reason I can think of is because Riley's life goes crazy, or is "turned inside out" when she moves. According to What Could Have Been under Trivia, the emotions were originally going to exit Riley's body and interact with her, which would have made "Inside Out" a much more fitting title. It seems like an Artifact Title to me.
    • The emotions are inside Riley. She expresses them out towards the world. We the outside viewers see what's happening to her on the inside.
  • It turns the human psyche inside out — that is, humans usually only see the outside of each other, but the film shows us the inside, turning the view inside out.

     So, does Jangles have free roam around the Subconscious? 
  • As I said in my question about why Jangles is considered evil, I thought he had been locked in that one room and made to sleep forever. But it would seem that, after Bing-Bong was taken to the Subconscious, Jangles kidnapped him to eat his candy tears, and then fell asleep. So, how much security does the Subconscious have? Is everyone in there assigned to a room, like prisoners in their cells? Or are they just thrown in the Subconscious with no one to supervise them and the right to do pretty much whatever they want?

     What happens among the emotions when a person decides to go with a suicide? 
  • In the movie, we see a perfectly valid reasoning the emotions come up with when they decide to suggest to Riley to run away to Minnesota. But what kind of train of thought the emotions would have to suggest suicide? Would they too, in one collective breakdown of depression, just say "Oh fuck it, just make it all stop already"?
    • The emotions of the person would probably be locked out like Riley's emotions were, and the person would make that decision on their own without their emotions influence. The emotions appear to act as protectors, so causing their person to kill themselves would be counter-intuitive and go against their very purpose. It's unlikely they would do so unless they honestly believed they had no escape from whatever situation they were in and I imagine it would take a lot for all of the emotions to give up like that.
    • Suicide tends to come from a place of deep depression, much like Riley was experiencing. I'd imagine that something similar would happen to what we saw in the movie; one of the emotions would plug the idea of suicide into the console under the impression that it would solve everything and then get locked out of the console whether they changed their minds or not, unless they were able to break through like Sadness managed.
    • The emotions can act irrationally, as the 'running away' plan showed. If say... Joy or Anger got so totally broken by the overabundance of Sadness (as Sadness obviously got broken by Joy) I could see a point where she might think plugging in the idea to finally end it all would be a good thing. Said idea then might get stuck and lock out the console, stopping them from giving her second thoughts about the whole thing.
    • It's also possible that suicide is a sort of self-destruct function. We're shown what happens when a person becomes depressed in the universe of this film. The control panel completely stops working and the emotions are isolated from any ability to affect the person. It's hard to imagine what the situation would have looked like several years down the road if that had continued. At some point, it's not difficult to picture the emotions left in the control room giving up, realizing that their only point of control was in flipping a switch to shut the system down completely, and doing that (possibly not knowing what it would do; the emotions don't seem to have full knowledge or control over Riley's thoughts).
    • The emotions are built to keep their person in good shape, but that doesn't mean that any individual emotion has the person's interest in mind. We can all see what happens when emotions fall out of balance. Possible scenarios include:
      • Fear reacting to a situation where bad things are happening all the time and desperately finding a way to stop another day of pain.
      • Disgust getting disgusted with their human (shame, guilt, etc.) and executing a final cleanup operation
      • Anger at the console of someone who wants to punish a loved one for a major offence (such as an affair) by making the other feel guilty about the self's death
      • Anger again, weaponizing their death for punitive reasons. Suicide bombers and kamikaze pilots fall into this category.
    • I would suggest a slight change to the above; the emotions do have that the person's best interest in mind, but they are not always correct in what is actually in the person's best interest. After all, Anger suggested that Riley run away because he misguidedly thought it would be in Riley's best interests to do so, not because he wanted to cause her pain or make things worse for her. And the same could arguably be said for all of the above; Fear is trying to make the pain end, Disgust thinks it'll be better for everyone if the person 'left', Anger seeks 'justice' for a wrong done to them in the former case and commits a sacrifice for a better / bigger purpose in the latter (many suicide bombers, after all, believe that their actions will be rewarded in the after-life in some way. They might be wrong in doing so, but all of them could be said to be working to what they think the person's best interests are.

     How did Riley use the credit card? 
  • We see Riley steal her mom's credit card and use it to buy a bus ticket. But... wouldn't she need the code for that?
    • The credit code isn't always necessary, and sometimes might just be the number on the back.
    • Riley's been an honest girl up until then. Maybe her mother has trusted her with the card and code number in the past, like if Mom can't find a parking place and sends her daughter into a shop to buy some needed item while she's circling the block.
    • If it's pre-2015, most American credit cards don't have or need a code. Due to early adoption, America standardized on the mag-strip instead of the later and more secure chip-and-pin system used in Europe, and there was no push to change over until the mass theft of card numbers from Target Stores in 2014 .
    • It might have been a debit card, not a credit card. I knew my mom's PIN for her debit card at a younger age than Riley in case of emergencies. Also, she's seen looking at the bus tickets online. Maybe she bought them online, using the code on the back of the card, and only picked them up at the bus station.
    • I assumed she did buy the ticket online, where all you need to do is input the number, owner and security code - all of which are on the card. This would also allow Riley to quickly sneak the card back into her mother's purse before leaving (as her mother doesn't notice that her card is missing).

     Why was Anger put in charge of Riley's daydreams during the first day of school? 
  • I get why Fear was assigned to list all the worst possible outcomes, and why Disgust was assigned to coordinate Riley's outfit, but... how do daydreams relate to Anger's job?
    • He was only told to unload them from the train of thought, so presumably he wasn't actually in charge of the daydreams themselves or affecting them in any way, just getting them into Headquarters or out of boxes or something similar. Joy probably had him assigned to it because everyone else was occupied.
    • Daydreaming is something people do when they're bored and are frustrated that nothing interesting is happening. Frustration is Anger's turf.
    • Anger mentions that daydreams will be helpful for dealing with useless, boring classes. Anger's instinct is to solve problems, and the daydreams are Anger working with Joy in that area. And besides, some of those daydreams could be revenge fantasies, which certainly fit into Anger's nature.

    Learning Morality 
  • How do the emotions know what is good and what is bad? How do they figure out at first what is the appropriate reaction to something?
  • Same way anyone figures out what's good and bad or what's appropriate — they learn it during childhood. Riley knocks a hockey puck into a goal and her parents cheer her — that's good. Riley smashes a family heirloom with a hammer and gets scolded — that's bad. And so on. It's stored into memory globes that the emotions are later able to call up to guide Riley in future actions (I score a goal in hockey — people cheer — that's good — score more goals in hockey!).
    • It's worth noting that emotions don't completely guide morality, a lot of those decisions are made through logic and reasoning which is not under their control.
    • Emotions don't completely guide morality, no, however they do have a say in morality. "Why shouldn't I steal this kid's lollipop?" It'll make the kid sad. Making the kid sad will make me feel ashamed, etc.
  • I think that's part of the purpose of sadness. Think about it, without sadness, any time Riley does something wrong and is disciplined for it, she reacts with anger. Sadness enables her to understand why she's being disciplined rather than just being angry at the person disciplining her. Sadness enables her to feel empathy for others and be sad if she hurts someone.
  • Anger is pretty much defined as outrage over unfairness in this film. Presumably value judgments are an evolution of that basic "Not fair!" impulse, applied more broadly than to what's unfair to Riley, herself.
  • Disgust would play a big part too, as shame is essentially disgust at one's own wrong choices or actions.

  • Can an emotion fall in love with the person they're controlling? What happens then?]
    • If they did, that person would presumably become a narcissist, since an emotion basically guides the person they're controlling and vice-versa. An emotion falling in love with their person would essentially be the same as a person falling in love with themselves.
    • Emotions already do love the person they're guiding. They're family.
    • True, but I suspect the OP was discussing romantic love rather than familial attachment.

    Talking To Yourself 
  • What happens among the emotions when the person they're controlling is talking to themselves? Or better yet, what if the person sees a movie like this and attempts to communicate with their emotions? Are they at this point ordering the person they're controlling to talk to them?
  • Presumably the emotions "talk back" - like when Riley sees her Mom is stressed and says, "Let's go get a pizza." Joy was the one who put the idea in her head. So, if you're having a neat little convo with yourself, aren't you really getting to know your emotions?

     What might the emotions of a person with autism be like? 
  • Treading carefully with this one, people with autism are often known to have a more difficult time identifying or expressing their emotions. What might mission control look like to someone who is like this?
    • Speaking from experience with Asperger's, I often feel so strongly that I've no idea how to actually react, thus giving the stereotypical monotone, obsessed-with-whatever-I'm-doing response. My guess is all the emotions are yelling at each other and hitting buttons all at the same time; Either the system overloads and the person just gives the perceived "safe" response from the lack of guidance, or the loudest emotion wins. Either way results in the trademark awkward anxiety. There's also the "wrong planet" analogy, in which case it'd be like the crew of The Enterprise trying to figure out how to communicate with this strange, loud alien species known as "other people". No clue on anything else in the spectrum. -Woggs 123
    • This post makes some suggestions
  • Another person with Asperger's weighing in: Essentially the command console and the emotions would all have the same jobs and uses, but the wiring to the rest of the body and the pneumatic tube system for the memories would be different from the standard.
  • First of all, it should be made clear that (most) Autistic people have plenty of emotion. I think the major difference would be the control panel, and not broken or shut down like with depression (the combination is a pain though) but more like, most people have an Apple workstation and Autistic people operate on Linux. It works just fine on its own, but Autistic people still see the world a little differently. The problem arises when it comes to interpreting what's happening with those Apple systems.
  • Another thought - Sometimes Autistic people have emotional meltdowns, but they don't ever stop feeling emotions, in which case I personally imagine the control panel is too hot to touch, and at that moment everything's just going crazy. Heck, the emotions themselves might start panicking because of the chaos. But when things cool down, it's time to reach for the fire extinguisher and deal with the fallout. It's been elaborated that the emotions are not the actual person.
    • With the meltdowns in mind, perhaps the controller is very sensitive to the senses and might overload.
      • If you want an Autistic suggestion, never mind the alternative console make, the person with Autism has emotions that are Autistic as well! And that would mean they are very devoted to the job they were created to do, never slacking off. However they're never quite sure of who should work the console. Maybe they get engrossed in the Autistic person's hobbies too, which makes the Autistic person even more dedicated and emotional about whatever they're interested in.

    What was Joy doing when Riley lost the hockey playoffs? 
Would she not have seen the benefits of having Sadness around when that memory was created? Why does she only notice this after the fact?
  • Joy, to be fair to her, is rather self-fixated and blinkered when it comes to Sadness. For the first two-thirds of the movie, whenever Sadness is even close to the control panel Joy inevitably pushes her out of the way, brusquely fobs her off with a bit of feigned politeness and tries to "fix" whatever Sadness has done. Chances are, at the time she just saw it as "Oh no, Sadness is ruining everything, I've got to make Riley happy again." She only makes the connection later because she's basically been reduced to rock bottom herself and is finally in a position where she's ready to make that link.
  • She just didn't make the connection. She didn't think, "Sadness made Riley feel sad, which made her parents and teammates come and make her feel better, so Sadness did something good." She only looked at the pieces, not the big picture: "When Sadness was in charge, Riley was sad, and that's bad. But when the team came, I was able to make her happy, and that's great." She didn't stop to examine the cause-and-effect of the events at the time (something many humans are frequently guilty of), but when she was forced to take a closer look, she saw something she didn't notice before.

    Missing Blends 
  • If a person's memories eventually mix 2 or more emotions together into the same one resulting in the Memory Orb becoming a swirl of colors like a marble, how come we never see Riley's parents' Memory Orbs like that about 30 minutes into the film??
    • A few reasons I can think of. The first is that we don't really see a lot of Riley's parents' emotional control centres to begin with, partly because we only see inside their heads for a few minutes at most and don't really focus much on their memory orbs when they do, and partly because the inside of their heads tend to obscure the memory orbs with things like distance, darkness, curtains and fixtures, etc. They might indeed have mixed memory orbs present, but they wouldn't be immediately clear and might appear to be a single colour. The second, more Doylist explanation is that they probably didn't want to spoil the surprise reveal of Riley's marble memory orb at the end, so obscured them or left them out when we saw inside her parents' minds to prevent this.
    • Another possibility is that since all the memories we're seeing are short-term, they haven't had the time to process how they feel about those memories yet, and so we're seeing only the initial emotions associated with those memories.
    • Even adult memory-spheres are probably mostly one-note, emotionally; they're simply too brief to admit a combination of feelings. It's core memories that would tend to be blended in a mature mind, because events that have that much of an impact would stir a response in two or even more emotions simultaneously.
    • It could have something to do with their ages. Riley's still just a tween, who has puberty to go through, no less - she's obviously going to be less experienced with her emotions and might know how to feel for any one situation. Her parents have had more experience in facing different situations and how they would feel in relation to them - because of these, even if something unexpected hits, they'll probably have a pretty good idea how they should feel about it, and so there wouldn't be as many blended-emotion memories as there would be in a prepubescent like Riley.
    • Her parents' Headquarters, like their consoles, are probably a lot bigger than Riley's. They may have separate rooms rather than just one large chamber, with the memory-processing machinery being in a different room than the viewscreen and console.

     Why was Bing Bong on the train to the Headquarters? 
  • It makes sense that he was guiding the others across his familiar turf of Imaginationland and the surrounding areas, but why did he board the Train of Thought with Joy and Sadness? It's not like they needed his help to ride a train back to HQ or that he had a good reason to go there. Maybe he's just a childish character who wants to ride the train, but the others don't seem to care that he's apparently going to Headquarters with them. Seems like a convenient plot device to make him still be around so he can end up in the Memory Pit with Joy.
  • They said he could come along so he could join them and Riley could remember him again.
  • They'd also just completely trashed Dream Productions and escaped from the subconscious, so were possibly going to be in a little trouble at least; it would be a bit harsh of them to leave Bing-Bong alone to potentially face the music by himself.
  • Also, Joy's still got his bag, which he probably expects her to return when she's done with it. Hard to do that if they leave him behind.

     Is there anything behind Headquarters in the front? 
  • The Personality Islands and memories are all behind HQ. So is there anything in front that's showing the emotions what Riley sees?
    • I imagine that the control centre is right at the front, so to speak, and the screen they watch events and memories through is essentially seeing the world through Riley's eyes.

  • What exactly are the statistical likelihood of two brunette people with brown eyes having a blonde haired blue eyed daughter? This one is mostly for fun, I understand they might have the recessive genes and their hair may of darkened but generally speaking this is the genetic equivalent of shooting the moon.
    • Genetics are a little more complicated than Punnett squares would lead you to believe. Eye color, for example, comes from a combination of alleles, rather than simply Brown/blue.
    • Indeed, there are alleles for green eyes as well; but even taking that into account blue eyes are still pretty unlikely. Especially for people who both have brown eyes. I mean it is no big thing. Hell I have blue eyes and my mother's is brown (my Dad's are blue), so I know it is possible... But odds wise we're talking about a bit of an improbability. It also gets muddy when you figure the mother has Hazel eyes which I believe have their own gene
    • There's blue eyes somewhere in her family gene pool. It's perfectly possible for a brown-eyed father and a hazel-eyed mother to produce a blue-eyed child.
    • Blue eyes and blonde hair are recessive; dark eyes and dark hair are dominant. In simplest terms, this means dark-eyed, dark-haired people could have recessive genes in their DNA and, if they have children with a partner with the same recessive but invisible genes, said recessive genes could, by random chance, come together and produce a child with those recessive genes, since she got them from both sides. The chances of producing a child with 2 parents' buried recessive genes are, naturally, less than producing a child who inherits the dominant genes, but not even close to impossible.
    • Another possibility: I had bright blonde hair when I was younger, now I'm 20 and it's very close to brown. Maybe one or both parents were the same way, and Riley's hair will also darken with age.
    • Or one of them is naturally blonde and dyes their hair brown.

     Are emotions aware of the existence of emotions in other people's heads? 
A minor point, but I got to thinking about this during the dinner table scene, in which we see three different sets of emotions indirectly communicating with one another. I found it interesting that none of them seemed to acknowledge that, in having their human interact with other humans, what they were effectively dealing with was a group of their fellow emotions - other people were always referred to as singular "him" and "her". Obviously all emotions would be limited purely to the perspective of whichever head they inhabited (as Joy states at the start, Riley's head is the only one she truly knows) but surely observing similar emotional reactions in other people might prompt them to speculate that other minds worked in a similar way?
  • I think it's perfectly possible, but empathy and insight into the emotional states of others seem to be Sadness's 'thing' and Sadness is heavily suppressed in Riley.
  • It's implied that the emotions don't have direct control of the human they reside in, and act more as guides than as pilots. It's entirely possible that the emotions realize that everyone else operates the same way, but have no way of directly communicating with one another beyond asking other people how they're feeling.
  • I can't see a reason why the respective emotions in everyone's heads would believe their host is the only one with that setup, so they probably at least think so, even if they're not 100% sure.

     Are people aware of what's going on inside their heads? 
  • And if so, does anyone communicate with the "people" there to ask for help recalling lost memories, getting through tough times, or anything else? Is it possible for someone to be transported to that alternate dimension? What would happen? How would they react?
    • One of the earliest versions of the script did involve Riley somehow meeting her Emotions.
    • This isn't official canon, but if you're interested in this idea, you'll probably like the fan fiction Intercom.
    • We are now, thanks to Pixar!
  • If not, why not? As I mentioned on the WMG page for the aforementioned fanfic, the Mind World looks more like it would have been designed by an intelligent creator than natural evolution. In that case, one would have to wonder why said creator would make the decision not to make people aware and give them access—it's their own mind after all.

    Memorable Rocket 
  • So Bing-Bong went to the memory dump and he was erased from Riley's memory but the rocket went back from there, does it mean that Riley will still remember the rocket despite forgetting Bing-Bong?
  • Riley probably would have a very faint memory of it, were she to be reminded of it somehow in the outside world, but she would not be able to recall things like what she did with it or with whom, since Bing-Bong had already been forgotten permanently. Chances are, a maintenance worker or somebody would probably see it sitting on the edge - did Joy leave it on the edge? I can't recall - and would just push it in, so Riley would probably end up forgetting it, as well, anyway.
  • It was smashed into pieces after Joy had ridden it to the top. The mind workers likely discarded the remains.
  • Disney Infinity 3.0 keeps the rocket. However, they weren't able to keep Bing Bong due to data problems, a similar problem that occurred with Olaf on the first edition. However, he was mentioned if you played as Anna. Maybe he'll be in the 4.0 edition, and like Olaf, they'll be some foreshadowing. Joy might mention him or he'll be a cameo in a drawing.

     She didn't see her? 
  • The scene where Riley steals her mother's credit card really confuses me - I thought for sure that her mother would've seen her right away, or maybe Riley would've hid the card and lied about getting a drink or something...but no, she doesn't even notice her at all, it seems. Did this confuse anyone else?
    • Riley's mother turned around, but she didn't actually cast her eyes in Riley's direction until she had already taken the chance to make off with her card. She was too engrossed in her telephone conversation about all of their stuff being sent to Texas.

  • How would the inner mind and emotions of someone with Alzheimer's go about their day-to-day life, do you suppose? I had a grandpa who had Alzheimer's once, and it was always difficult to tell what he was thinking or feeling...Most of the time, he'd just walk around the house stuttering nonsense on occasion, but there were times even in the later stages where he would tear up and start crying. Would the emotions act in a similar way, like they didn't know what they were doing, either, or would they just input memories and commands that only sometimes the person would adhere to while completely ignoring them at others?
    • That's something that's hotly debated. In my experience the emotions would likely be working as normal, but the input they're reacting to would be garbled and the emotions would likely be horribly confused as to the appropriate response. The memory libraries would likely have crumbled too, leaving mainly the core memories to guide all actions, until, inevitably, they crumble too.

     Why did eating Bing Bong's candy cause Jangles to fall asleep? 
  • What is in that candy? I think it contains some... unusual ingredients, if you know what I mean. Of course, on the other hand, this is a kids' movie, so that's probably not what happened.
    • It's not to do with the candy itself; it's just suggesting that Jangles was gluttonous and ate too much of it. Overeating can make you feel sleepy.
    • I know, but what if Bing Bong's candy actually contained drugs?
    • But why would it contain drugs? It's imaginary candy produced by an imaginary friend created by an eleven-year-old when she was a toddler of, what, three or four years old. How and why would she even be aware of drugs at that age, much less have the presence of mind to pretend-spike her imaginary friend's pretend-candy with them? Jangles has clearly just over-indulged and fallen asleep, since Bing-Bong's clearly been there for a while. Not everything's a drugs reference.
    • Though it could be argued that Bing-Bong's candy includes a sort of G-Rated Drug, in a sense: Jangles isn't just sleeping off his overindulgence— he's suffering from a sugar crash.

     Why does Sadness seem to like sad things? 
  • The idea behind Sadness is, of course, no one really wants to be sad - she tries to be optimistic like Joy tells her to, but she just can't seem to help but focus on the negatives sometimes, and in the end, sometimes just sitting down and crying is something people just need to do. Why, though, does Sadness say that she likes things like, say, "the movie where the dog dies at the end"? That would be like Disgust saying she likes broccoli, because it's disgusting, or Fear saying he likes that huge, scary clown, because he's fearful of it. If Sadness is supposed to be an emotion does want to see Riley happy like the others, but just has a hard time remaining positive, wouldn't it be better for her to like a movie that has an actually...happy ending?
    • Sadness is an emotion who loves catharsis for Riley. Something to release all those emotions so she can have others help her find joy afterwards. Think of one of her favorite memories: The day the hockey team lost because Riley missed the winning goal. "She felt awful. She wanted to quit." But then her parents came over, and her friends came over, and took that extreme low and turned it into a high. And besides, Disgust and Fear are all about avoiding things. Sadness, Joy and Anger are more about embracing things. Anger wanting things fair, Joy wanting happiness. And sadness is interested in Riley getting through a situation that then leads to a better high. I mean, if Riley didn't miss her home, she wouldn't be needed, but she does. Sadness loves when Riley is honest with herself and others, and thus is able to release all her pain over life problems and find the help she needs. So it's not as much Sadness likes sad things, but more that she likes things that get emotions out and leads to greater things. A hug when milk comes out your nose, a warm fire after getting stuck in rain, a loving pat on the back after crying in class, a hug after a bad day, etc. And a movie where the dog died is sad, but still powerful, and can have people crying together.
    • If we didn't like sad things, we wouldn't keep watching movies like this. Sometimes, we do like being sad — it's cathartic (Pixar was obviously on to this secret decades ago!).

    Sadness or Fear? 
  • When Sadness removes the idea, Riley's first reaction to realizing what she's doing is obviously fear... but Fear himself is nowhere near the console at the time. How does that work?
  • Maybe the look on her face was sudden guilt? Sadness made her realize how much running away would have upset her parents. That's empathy, and it definitely comes from Sadness.
  • Or it's more shock than fear, as in "WTF am I doing?! This won't help!". Sadness's bailiwick includes disappointment and failure, and Riley had to realize that her plan to return to Minnesota was doomed from the start - their old house is sold, her ex-BFF has a new friend, and her parents won't be there - before she could shake off the idea of running away.

     Walking to the bus station 
  • Please, forgive me if I've made a mistake on this - I've seen this film only once, but from what I remember, Riley's parents think she's going off to school when in reality she's planning on walking to the bus station to get a ride back to Minnesota. Later, we see them come back home as though they're expecting her to be there, which would have to be after school was over. Yet when we cut to Riley, she's still walking to the bus station at this point. I find this especially confusing because once Joy and Sadness return and convince Riley to get off the bus, she seems to arrive home again in just a few minutes. I know San Francisco's probably a pretty sizable city, but it shouldn't take 6+ hours to walk to a bus station.
    • The tie-in book "Driven By Emotions" explains the odd time gap. According to the book, the only bus available for Riley to take back to Minnesota was due to leave in the late afternoon, so Riley skipped school and waited in a public library until then.
    • Alright. I haven't read the book, so I didn't know that...Good to know. On an unrelated note, shouldn't Riley's school have contacted her parents when she never showed up? Or do some schools not do that? (A few of my old schools used to.)
      • Some schools don't bother reporting absences to the parents. People being absent because of trips or sickness can be quite common.
      • She's only been going to the school for a day, two tops. They might not have thought anything of it because she was brand new.

    Senses other than sight and hearing 
Throughout the entire movie, the only way we see the emotions react to everything that's happening to Riley is by seeing and hearing the same things as her, thanks to the giant monitor in the Headquarters. However, the movie doesn't even hint at all at how the emotions handle Riley's senses of touch, smell and taste. Hoes does Joy know that the bedsheets are warm and comfy, that the flowers smell nice and that the pizza tastes amazing? How does Disgust know that this attractive guy sitting next to Riley smells of three shower-less days, or that this milk Riley's drinking is clearly not fresh anymore? How does Anger know to lose his shit when a video game controller is being uncooperative?
  • Actually, it does, with regards to smell at least; when they first encounter broccoli Disgust specifically notes how it smells as a reason why she's suspicious of it ("There is a dangerous smell here, people!"). Presumably all of these things are processed via the console somehow, we just don't see how because there's not really any situations in the movie that really call for us to be made aware of it.

  • Why does Fear even need a censor bleep?
    • He doesn't, he hit a button that happened to make a bleep sound.
    • Lots of people cuss when they are scared. For example, say you're playing a horror game where you get chased by a powerful monster like Slenderman in Slender or Volatiles in the night time sections of Dying Light, you may start cussing uncontrollably as a response to that fear because you're scared and you just want to get away from whatever is chasing you before it kills you.
    • It could also be to avoid unnecessary confrontations, like say, the dinner scene. Scenario: Riley gets angry at someone. Eventually, Anger goes a little overboard and prepares a swear word. Fear, fearful that this would escalate the argument to dangerous levels and lead to nasty punishment or some type of bodily harm, uses the bleeper-button to cancel out what Anger puts in, thus sparing both sides of the argument and keeping things at a family-friendly level.

    Just how big is Riley's Mental World? 
  • In the background, you can see what looks like an entire city. What exactly is back there, and how far does it go?
    • How many fan fics can people write?

    Emotion Fusion 
  • What emotions (fusion) would two emotions create, to be exact? As seen in the film, what emotion does Joy and Sadness create, along with others such as Anger and Fear, or even Disgust and Sadness?]]
  • Joy + Anger gives Hot Bloodedness, aka passion/enthusiasm/competitive spirit. As seen in the end, where the red/yellow core memory playing hockey. Unlike last time, her hockey core memory is now about competitive hockey instead of playing with her parents, hence the red.
  • Joy and Sadness probably produce Wistfulness or Bittersweetness or something along those lines — when Riley creates that ball, it's when she's feeling a mixture of sadness over her inability to return home and happiness at having her parents understand and support her, creating an understandably bittersweet moment. Sadness and Disgust would probably create some form of Guilt (as below). Anger and Fear... possibly Determination depending on the circumstances? If you're studying for a big exam, for example, you're often worried about the consequences of failing (Fear) while pushing yourself to study as much in order to pass (Anger, in 'passion' mode).
  • I can see how that works. Thank you, mate.
  • Here are a few fanartist's interpretations for you, since emotion fusions seem to be popular among Inside Out fans.
  • Ooh, I like that idea for fusions!

  • Speaking of which, which emotions create guilt?
  • Personally, I'd suggest primarily Sadness and Disgust; Sadness at the consequence of your actions and Disgust at yourself for committing them.
  • Ah, yes, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much.

     Sooo... are the emotions born as adults? 
  • We see Joy's birth at the beginning of the movie, along with Sadness' first appearance, and it appears that the rest of the emotions come in at a later time. Though they act pretty childish, such as Joy's constant effort to keep Riley happy and her not realizing that Sadness is also empathy until it was almost too late, and Anger being more of someone who acts before they think, which would probably be associated with a three-year old if we're real here, but in physical form, they look like adults. Obliviously, they weren't born as babies, nor could they technically be considered having had a 'birth' since they're emotions, but it still raises a wonder to me.
    • Presumably if they started out as physical infants, they wouldn't be able to operate the console.

    Disgusting Couple 
  • Were Pete Docter and the others joking when they said that about Fear and Disgust? It's all over Tumblr about this 'Deleted Scenes' video, and I did indeed get a chance to see it. No doubt that I ship the couple, but the way they were laughing made it kind of seem like a joke to me, and just a way to tease the shippers. I'm no fan of the couple, but the apparent Joy/Fear thing seemed more serious. So... is it a joke or is that real?
    • The finished film still seems to lightly imply that Fear has a one sided crush on Disgust, so several fans have kind of just shrugged their shoulders and assumed the joke still holds true.
    • Why do you ship that couple? Wouldn't that be a form of masturbation and/or narcissism?
  • Where did the image of Fear supposedly staring lovingly at Disgust come from?
    • It's a promotional image for the film. I've seen it many times before. It also appears in a few commercials, if I recall correctly.
    • It's from the end of the film, when Riley is interacting with her parents just before the hockey game. To put it into context, Fear is actually reacting to a demonstration of affection from Rileys' parents, though his eyes do happen to wander in Disgust's direction.
    • It is true that the characters' actors jokingly ad-libbed an "I love you/ I know" exchange between them; whether that means they can be considered a couple is strictly up to the viewers' personal tastes.
  • I just presume that because Riley is too young to feel love, Disgust is still in a state where she thinks a nerd like Fear is totally gross. Once that button gets pressed, it'll be Disgust's job to have standards for guys, and it'll be Fear's job to be nervous that things aren't going too fast - or too slow! They'll have a lot of work to work to do together once Riley's body starts changing.
  • Any ladies here remember their first menstrual period? Now that's some Fear/Disgust memories for sure.

  • What happens in the mind of someone who is hypnotized/under mind control? Are the person's emotions unable to use the console until they snap out of it? Or are their emotions hypnotized along with them?
    • Hypnosis is not such much "mind control" as it is "fooling the senses". A person who's hypnotized for the most part behaves like they always do; they're just tricked into perceiving a fictional reality. So if a hypnotist were to fool someone into thinking that a bucket of ice water is pleasantly warm, their emotions would be "feeling" a warm tub of water and be unable to tell that it's actually cold. This video is a pretty good example of hypnosis in action; the guy basically behaves like normal, he's just fooled into imagining he's arguing with celebrities or fighting killer bees.
    • Another example: A hypnotist probably would not be able to make a modest person undress in front of an audience, but might be able to convince them into believing they are in their own bedroom getting ready for bed.

     What would depression pills do? 
In this Cracked photoplasty, they show Riley being given depression pills. What would that do to the emotions? Would it create clones of Joy and Sadness to replace the ones who went missing? Would it kill Disgust, Anger, and Fear and replace them with clones?
  • Rather than attacking the emotions themselves, I suspect it would instead affect the console to alter how commands given by the emotions would be processed. Since the console lights up with the colour of the main emotion controlling it at the time, I suspect it might lock it into "yellow" mode (for Joy) whether Joy was controlling it or not, at least until the medication wore off.
    • Ideally depression pills should normalize emotions, without them Joy would find the console is really stiff and unresponsive when she works it and the pills help her to operate more effectively. Of course things aren't often that simple, and Joy could find the console is working 'too' effectively.
    • Not to mention that the plot the movie takes place over two days, and medicating someone for a two-day mood swing that has no precedent in that person's medical history and can be easily explained by outside events rather than a medical issue with the brain is a drastic overreaction.

    Scary Broccoli 
  • Why is broccoli, of all things, one of Riley's biggest fears? In Disgust/Anger's introduction scene, at the end, Riley falls for the airplane trick and eats the broccoli and she looks like she's enjoying it. Later in the movie, though, broccoli is shown to be one of Riley's greatest fears, so what gives? It looks like the filmmakers just forgot that happened!
  • She was tricked once into eating it as a kid. That doesn't mean she'd forever give up disliking it. Not to mention that broccoli pizza incident the day before.
    • But when she's tricked, she's smiling.
    • She's smiling because she's been distracted by the "plane" trick, not because she suddenly loves broccoli. That's the whole point of that distraction; it gets the child so focussed on something else so they forget why they were chucking a wobblie to begin with. Besides, Riley's a kid. She's probably exaggerating how much she hates broccoli a bit because kids tend to do that with things they don't like. How many times when you were a kid did your parents tell you that if you just tried something, you'd probably like it, and you refused to even consider trying it because you knew for certain it was gross and disgusting and awful and ewwwwwww... and then, when you'd grown up a bit, you actually tried it and it turned out to not be as bad as you always thought?
  • An even better question: Why is it considered scary? Everyone dislikes some food but they're not AFRAID OF said food.
    • Rule of Funny.
      • In-universe, though?
    • Riley's a kid. She exaggerates how much she loathes broccoli, and so do the emotions. She doesn't literally fear it, she just treats it as radioactive because that's how much she's convinced herself she hates it.
    • Although, when exactly is broccoli actually considered "scary" or "one of Riley's greatest fears"? This whole headscratcher seems to be based on a slightly flawed premise to begin with. From what I recall, the primary reaction to broccoli is nearly always disgust, not fear; hence Disgust.

    Emotional Age 
  • Are the emotions, more or less, the same age as Riley? Call me stupid if you want, but I really can't put my foot on this one.
  • Do mean the same physical age, or the same age mentally?
  • I mean physically. I think they're mentally the same age as her, mainly because as her emotions, they should have the same experiences as her.
    • There's little indication that emotions age physically - Riley's look exactly the same at 11 as they did when she was a baby/toddler. The facial hair on her dad's emotions might appear as evidence to the contrary, but then you have to keep in mind that all non-Riley emotions were purposely designed to resemble their owners as a short-hand, so that audiences could easily keep track of who was who (ie: it shouldn't be taken as an indication that Riley's own emotions will change as she gets older). Mentally, while the emotions are characterised as adults, their perspective on the world is nevertheless quite childish (Disgust regarding broccoli as poison, Fear freaking out about crying at school, Anger thinking that screaming curse words is a good solution to problems, etc), so I'd say that they're still identifiable as "kid emotions". In that sense, they'll likely grow and mature along with Riley.

    Do They Like Joy? 
  • Judging by scenes in the movie, would you say that the others genuinely like Joy, or are just following her orders because they see happiness as something good?]]
  • I'm sure that they do have an amount of respect for her, but that doesn't tell me whether they LIKE her or not.
    • Every emotion is focused overall on making and keeping Riley happy - Anger is responsible for ensuring fairness, Fear and Disgust with safety, and Sadness for empathy. Since Joy is just a representation of their overarching goals, they may just see her decisions and orders as the ones that would be best to follow.

    Bing-Bong Physics 
  • If Bing Bong's mostly made of cotton candy, which is very light, why couldn't the rocket carry both him and Joy?
  • You have to consider the jacket, gloves, hat, and every other part of his body that is not made of cotton candy.
    • Along with that, he's an imaginary friend - he was literally made up by a toddler. There's always the possibility that Riley decided that he was made of cotton candy on the spot. Logic doesn't really apply to a toddler's mind.

    Imaginary Dump 

    Late Family 
  • And speaking of Family Island, why isn't the core memory for that island the moment when Riley was born? Her family was with her during that moment.
    • Do you remember the moment of your own birth?
    • Core memories are defining moments of a person's life, so presumably Family Island was made when Riley realized what family was and what it actually meant to her. Also, while everyone has a mother at the moment of their birth, not everyone has a family like Riley.
      • Well, technically, everyone has a family at birth; even if it's just their mother, they're still related, so they're still family. Not every family has to have the mother-father-child dynamic.
    • Headquarters was brand new when Riley was born, and just starting to crank out any memories at all. It's likely that the pylon for Core Memory storage didn't emerge until she was old enough to begin acquiring tangible personality traits, rather than the basic urge-driven responsiveness that babies start out with.
    • Presumably, Riley's birth is without question a Core Memory for her parents. How could loving parents like them not treasure the birth of their daughter as the happiest, and most important, day of their lives?

    Dream Memory 
  • If Riley saw Bing Bong in her dream before the bus incident, why did she forget him so easily afterwards, instead of not doing something like drawing him?
    • You don't always remember your own dreams.
    • Why would she draw a random dream of a weird looking creature?
      • It might jog her memory.
      • She doesn't know her memory needs to be jogged about anything; sadly, Bing Bong holds no significance for her any more. She's practically forgotten him and, sadly, he's irrelevant to her now. So she's got no reason to draw him or to prompt herself to remember him.

     Are two of Mr. Andersen's emotions female? 

  • While watching the promo for 'Riley's First Date,' I noticed that Riley's father's Disgust seems to be wearing a skirt, while his Joy, as many have pointed out, seems to have breasts. How... what?
    • Well, two of Riley's emotions are clearly male, so it's not that unusual. They might simply tailor their appearance to more-or-less match the exterior of the human they're controlling (by wearing the emotion equivalent of a false moustache, for example). For all that they look 'male' and 'female' to us, they clearly aren't human so it's possible — even likely — that gender doesn't work the same for them that it does for a human.
    • His Anger addresses all of the other emotions as "gentlemen", implying that that they all identify as the same gender.

     What happens if emotions date? 

  • I have to admit that I'm guilty of shipping emotions, just like the majority of the fandom is. But, I've got to ask... if the emotions went out on dates and stuff, how would Riley feel? Like, if Disgust randomly kissed Fear, so to speak, what would happen?
    • Riley doesn't seem to experience what happens to the emotions directly unless they're in control of the console at the time — she doesn't for example, seem to feel pain all those times the times when Anger punches Fear. So if Disgust and Fear weren't in control of her at the time, she might not notice it. If they were and / or she did, my guess is that she would most likely interpret it as mixed emotions in some way, shape or form. To keep with the romantic theme, as an example, perhaps if such a clinch might happen to occur when Riley was trying to deny her feelings to someone she was in love with, she might interpret it as a mixture of nervousness and repulsion.

     Joy knows when to let Sadness take over... right? 
  • I mean before the end of the film. She knows that she can't take over IF Riley were to scrape her knee or something, right?
    • Probably. Riley's not completely emotionally dysfunctional; she's no doubt had plenty of reasons to feel sad in the past, but the events of the movie are just the first time she's ever had reason to feel deeply, fundamentally sad for a prolonged period of time (presumably, Riley has never experienced the death of a beloved grandparent or pet or anything like that which would prompt a similar reaction). So any sadness she's felt has probably been of fairly short duration and superficial effect. I would assume that Sadness has been in control of the console before, when Joy's been distracted or when there's been no other option, but gets shooed away as quickly as possible so that Joy can 'correct' what's happened. To draw on the original example, Riley would probably cry when she scrapes her knee (thus allowing Sadness to take over), but since this is a fairly superficial injury it would likely be quickly resolved by, say, her mother tending to her (thus allowing Joy to push Sadness aside and take over again). The events of the movie are more that Joy is realising that letting Sadness take over is a good thing and why this is, not that this is necessarily the first and only time Sadness has ever been in control of Riley at all.
  • At the risk of straying into WMG territory, what if the injury was something more serious but not permanent, say, a broken bone? Would Sadness be allowed control for a longer period of time? Would Joy then have her epiphany, or go back to business as usual?
    • That would depend. The initial pain and confusion would be frightening at first, but some kids bounce back fairly quickly from bone breaks, especially if it involves special treatment, friends signing their cast, getting to skip out on classes, etc. Or she might be more sad about not getting to play with friends or do athletic games or worry that it might not heal properly. It all depends on what happens after the break for her and which she reacts the strongest too.
    • Worth noting is, if Riley did something like, say, break a leg and couldn't play hockey or something, she would more likely feel angry and frustrated over not being able to play than downright sad about it, meaning after the initial "Ow, I broke my leg," Anger would probably take over for Sadness at the console, or at least they would both be in charge of it intermittently. Also, it's not like something like this would have helped to improve Joy's opinion of Sadness's potential even it had happened once before, since a broken limb is not something that people can easily empathize with properly and help you feel better about, unlike a cross-country move.
    • Ultimately, it gets back to the simple fact that Riley, up to the events of the movie, clearly hasn't experienced the kind of trauma that would require Sadness to take control of her for an extended period to help her process it. A broken leg is a more serious injury, certainly, but the scale of the hypothetical injury that Riley might have experienced in her backstory is kind of irrelevant, really, since even if she did experience one it clearly didn't affect her enough to send her into a prolonged depression. She'd almost certainly have cried at the moment of injury, thus signalling people she needed help and letting Sadness briefly control the console. But as others have said, a broken leg — while certainly a serious injury — isn't usually the kind of thing that sends many people into a depressive state. So once the initial pain had subsided and she'd begun to heal, she'd probably adjust relatively quickly to it and bounce back, some frustration and annoyance at her usual activities being curtailed aside — and hence Sadness would quickly get shooed away from the console again.
    • The existence of the sad playoff-loss memory shows that Sadness has indeed taken over in the past — Joy just doesn't like it when she does because she doesn't understand the importance of being sad for Riley, only that being sad isn't fun or pleasant. The first day at a new school was so important form Joy's POV that she decided to put her foot down and just keep that meddling troublemaker away from the console once and for all where she can't cause any more damage.

I really concerned for the younger audience who saw this movie. What if there was a young kid who still had an imaginary friend and saw the movie, and was concerned about THEIR imaginary friend fading after they saw Bing Bong fade? (One example question I made up: "Will Mr. Fuzzy fade if I run away from you?) How would you explain this scenario to them? I'm not trolling or anything, but I am a teen with Aspergers, and I have a few imaginary friends (based on toys I have). I have no idea why Riley would just give up Bing Bong so easily, and what was extremely devastating about this to me is that Riley never got to go to the moon with Bing Bong.
  • Riley didn't so much give up on Bing Bong as she just forgot about him. Forgetting happens all the time. People lose contact with friends, children stop playing with their old favorite toy when they get new ones, and children grow up to be teens and then adults who have different interests. It's been a theme ever since the Toy Story films, that life keeps moving and we can't insist on never giving up the past. It will happen when we don't realize it. After watching Toy Story I played with my toys harder than usual for a short while, but eventually I too grew out of them. It happens at its own invisible pace; no need to rush.

    On that note, there's nothing wrong with still having imaginary friends when you're older. You can just rename them "original characters" and write stories and worlds about them. Honcha the cowardly Unggoy or Tess the professional Spartan are not real, but I still have plenty of fun with them and their adventures.
    • I don't think that's how most people think of characters they come up with. Though I do agree there's nothing wrong with having imaginary friends at any age. It's just more common in children, and people often consider it "childish" for that reason, not that that alone is really something that should stop anyone.
    • I dunno about most people, but you'd be surprised actually; they perhaps don't consider them imaginary friends, per say, but creatives can form surprising (although not necessarily positive) attachments to characters they devise. Which is perhaps not surprising, since writers spend a lot of time thinking about, plotting and devising their characters, creating them out of whole cloth, so they'd naturally start to view them almost as real people. Read some of the things Agatha Christie says when she discusses Hercule Poirot, for example, and it's almost like she's talking about a person she knows rather than a person she made up (even if it's a person she doesn't like very much).
  • It's also more that Riley forgot Bing-Bong not because she 'gave up' on him, but because he was a memory from her early childhood, and very few of us retain memories of our lives and experiences from that time as we grow older.
  • It's the original troper who asked this again. Thanks for the advice, but I was more asking how you would tell a young child who saw the film about how Riley didn't need Bing Bong and when their imaginary friend would fade. Would this be a correct response? "Mr. Fuzzy isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Bing Bong faded because Riley was a big girl, and when you turn 11, you may not need imaginary friends anymore."
    • That would be reasonable.
    • Or alternatively, something along the lines of "Mr. Fuzzy's going to be with you as long as you need him to be."

     Imaginary Insanity 
  • Do you think if Riley kept Bing Bong, she would be sent to the mental hospital? How would the doctors try to get rid of Bing Bong?
    • If you're picturing a scenario where Riley would be stuffed in a straitjacket and locked away screaming about an elephant cat, rest assured that most real mental institutions are not that cruel. Most likely Riley would just have a few therapy sessions with a counselor, who would ask Riley questions about Bing Bong and why she treasures him. Their solution would, first, be for for Riley to keep imagining Bing Bong, but understand that he's fictional and so not mistreat others who don't see him. Second, they'd try to help Riley make friends with kids her age, so that she'd form real relationships and not ostracize herself. Bing Bong's a great guy, but ultimately he's a self-contained loop who can only behave how Riley wants him to behave. For Riley to survive in the real world, she has to learn to cooperate with people with their own lives and priorities who can't just become what she wants them to when she wants it. And as Joy has learned, friendship is about cooperation, not control.
    • Oh! I get it...that cooperation concept was seen when Joy was trying to control Sadness to not make her take over on the first day of school and during the part where the dinosaur memory turned sad.

  • Why is puberty triggered by a button on the control panel in Headquarters? It can certainly affect people psychologically, and the hormones responsible may be produced somewhere physically located in or near the brain, but it's not started by a mental process. If it was, then wouldn't it be possible to, with enough effort, start puberty early (or delay/prevent it) through conscious thought?
    • I think it's primarily supposed to be a sort of joke on when someone "hits" puberty (since it's a button), coupled with the hormones thing you mentioned - puberty is all about hormones, and emotions, I believe, can also be affected by hormones, but it still doesn't make much sense why Riley's emotions would be able to induce puberty on their own, since the process also includes physical changes and developments that are better-known for taking place down a little lower in the human anatomy.
    • It's there partly for Rule of Funny, partly as a simplified way of introducing a complex system of biological and psychological changes into the world of what is, at the end of the day, a kid's movie.
    • Puberty is a button on the console; the console is the emotions' method of interacting with the outside world. Once the Puberty button is pressed, it would likely change the way using the console would interact with the outside. The best analogy I can think of is installing a Dvorak keyboard layout on someone's computer without them knowing. Initially, they'd try to use it as a QWERTY, but the system would process the keypresses differently. Over time, the user would learn which keys make which letters come up. I'd imagine the emotions would, over time, learn the new way of operating the console and eventually become functional adults.
      • So it's more of a "push in case of puberty" (to switch to a mode that makes it easier to deal with the changes) than a "push to trigger puberty"?
  • Another question, why hasn't Riley started puberty yet? I know that some people are late bloomers, and things like periods, hair, etc. usually comes later. But she hasn't started a massive growth spurt yet, her bone structure isn't changing, she isn't developing BO or getting her first zits? Because you'd think that the puberty button would be needed earlier, like before she starts it, and at age 11 she has to have something changing. Or is the button to celebrate the end of puberty?
    • She probably has at some point (if not in the main part of the movie then over the year-long Time Skip at the end), but in the very early stages of puberty (which Riley is most likely to be in) most of the changes are mainly internal and not easily noticed. Even if she has and noticeable physical changes have started, to take a Doylist approach she probably looks exactly the same at the end of the movie because the animators didn't want to completely redesign her character models for what was only likely to be a couple of minutes of footage at most. And as mentioned above, the Puberty Button is there largely for Rule of Funny, since the movie isn't exactly an accurate or realistic lesson in the physical changes of puberty, after all.
    • That didn't look like a button to me; it looked like an alarm that's supposed to flash when triggered — in other words, an alarm that would go off and announce that puberty has struck or something.
      • Yep. One can think of it as the one-button precursor for Riley's future ''BOY! BOY! BOY!" alarm, same as the one-button pylon she had as a baby was the console's precursor.

     Why is Riley's Family Island powered by a core memory of her as a toddler? 
  • Why that one moment? I probably did that many times as a child, so why would THAT be a core memory? You can say that it's the first time that she realized what family was, but I'm nearly an adult, and have known about what family was since I was toddler-Riley's age. So... what?
    • Not everyone has a core memory for family. Not everyone has the same core memory for family either. Some seemingly innocuous event can be more significant for one person than it is for another.
    • I'd argue it's less the first time she realised what a family was as much as it is the first memory she has understanding what it truly meant to be part of a family for her. It's not so much that it's when she learned what the dictionary definition of 'family' was or that the moment itself was epic and special by itself, but it's the deep, emotional understanding of the concept of being part of a "family" that that moment represents for her. As for why it's powered by a memory of her as a toddler... why wouldn't it be powered by a memory of her as a toddler? That would be when she first learned what being part of a family meant to her.

     The Parents Are to Blame 
Does anyone else think Riley's parents deserve most of the blame for what she goes through? It's blindingly obvious that she's going through emotional problems as a result of the move what with her outburst at the dinner table (with her mum's emotions actually commenting 'she's never acted like this before') and then storming off in the middle of the hockey tryouts. Yet they seem completely oblivious and never so much as attempt to sit down with her and ask her what's wrong, aside from her dad going into her room after the dinner table scene and making a rather pathetic attempt to cheer her up. Not only that but her Mum actively encourages her to bottle her feelings up by asking her to put up a front and keep smiling for her dad's benefit; this seems like really bad parental advice. I realize that this was necessary for the plot but it seems to go against the way they're portrayed in the film's opening scenes and during Riley's breakdown when Sadness finally takes control as being perfectly competent, loving parents.
  • Riley's mom wasn't encouraging her to bottle up her feelings; she thought Riley was genuinely happy and was asking her to keep up that cheer. Joy interpretted that as a reason to stick at the controls as much of possible. She also tried to pick up what was wrong with Riley at dinner. As for the dad, you said so yourself that he did make an attempt to discuss with her. You can't say they made no attempt to speak to her and then immediately cite when they did exactly that. On top of that, Riley just wouldn't speak to them and they had only a day or so to see the effects before she tried to run. They may have assumed it was just a phase, and so would've taken more serious action if this had lasted, say, a week.
  • Parents are people. They don't always know exactly what's going on in their children's lives or minds. Riley's mother clearly meant well when she asked Riley to keep being cheerful, but she's not telepathic or psychic; if Riley doesn't accurately communicate to her how she's feeling, she's not going to necessarily know that Riley is a lot more unhappy than she lets on. She was fooled by Riley's cheerful and upbeat appearances and didn't realise until later that Riley was in fact a bit messed up about what was happening, and didn't realise that Riley's cheerfulness was in part an act. There's no real "blame" in this situation in the sense that there's someone who we can point to as being responsible for everything or that there was some malicious intent going on; it's just a situation where some well-meaning people didn't communicate as effectively as they could have with each other. It happens.
  • Riley herself didn't know how/what she was feeling. Remember that the whole plot started because Joy wanted her to be happy no matter what, and up until that point, she had been always cheerful and active. Her parents would assume that a couple of days being "off" due to the move wouldn't be too odd for someone like her.
  • This troper believed that it was clear the parents had a lot of stress going on: They were both adjusting to a new environment, much like Riley, and probably didn't have a strong social group to support them in San Fran outside of each other. However, their emotions were a bit calmer and more realistic about the new scenario. Between the father trying to keep up with his new position and the mother managing finding their lost luggage (and maybe a new job for her?), they clearly had a lot on their plates. This isn't to say that Riley was a complete after-thought, but they could only pay so much attention to her. And considering that Riley didn't know how to properly convey "Hey, I miss everything about home and I don't know how to be happy about this like you want me to.", they likely assumed she was mostly okay. After Riley cried and confessed what was going on, they immediately went to comfort her. They're not bad or neglectful parents. Just stuff happens.

     Scared of Your Imaginary Friend? 
Bing Bong got sent to the Subconcious at one point. Why would Riley be scared of Bing Bong? Was she going to use him when she woke up, but she had a fear that her friends would make fun of her for it?
  • It's not that Riley feared him(She had practically forgotten him by that point) but the mind workers deemed him a troublemaker and the subconscious seems to be the equivalent of prison.
    • Most of the things in the subconscious were what Riley feared.
      • Right, because most of the things "causing trouble" in her mind would be non-useful fears. Grandma's vacuum cleaner? Logically it's nothing to be afraid of, but the memory still gives our person the heebie-jeebies. Subconscious. Clown? Similarly heebie-jeebifying, not actually going to hurt our person and she's probably never going to see him again. Subconscious. Nearly-forgotten imaginary friend that intruded on our person's dream in a frightening fashion? Subconscious!
    • Oh my god! The scene where he popped up made me jump out of my seat when I first saw it, but when I watched it the second time onward, it didn't scare me! Was it the close up of the eyes?
  • It was Mind Workers who sent Bing Bong to the subconscious - for making trouble in Dream Productions. Like the Emotions, they want to do what's best for Riley, while not always getting it quite right.

     Having a Cat When You're Part Cat 
  • One of the objects that falls out of Bing Bong's bag is an actual cat. Why does Bing Bong have a cat if he's part cat? I guess it could've been a pet cat Riley had when she was a child. A journal made for the movie mentions Riley had three pet goldfish die, and you know what happens with cats and fish...
    • Rule of Funny?
    • A toddler made him. Logic doesn't seem to be a top priority of what Bing Bong is/does.
    • It doesn't seem particularly unusual for a little girl to incorporate a kitty into her fantasy playtime with her imaginary friend. In my experience, little girls seem to typically like cats and kittens.

     Uncontrollable laughter 
  • What do you think would be happening in someone's Headquarters when they burst out into uncontrollable laughter, e.g. Stuart Ashen immediately upon reading the words "Antonio Stella bottom tile"? Given the fact Stuart had to abandon that recording and do a second take the next day, the console would clearly be incredibly difficult to use in that instance, but what inputs would trigger such intense laughter?
    • Maybe it's something like what happens to Riley's console at the end of the flick, except the opposite - Joy inputs a command for laughter towards something she thinks is funny. This command ends up becoming locked into the console, even with Joy and the other four emotions struggling to get it out and restore normal operations.
    • It tends to be a random, unexpected thing, so... maybe Joy tripped?

    What would happen if someone had a seizure? 
  • Let's say Riley has severe epilepsy. A bright light flashes in her face, causing her to go into a fit. Would there be some sort of power overload causing the mind world to go into a panic?
    • From the looks of it, the Emotions and Mind Workers don't have any sway over her physical body. A seizure likely wouldn't affect them too much (though what they see on the screen might be corrupted), since they're, from my limited understanding, more of a physical thing than a mental one.
  • Presumably the whole place shuts down, the screens go static, and absolutely nothing works. Who knows; maybe the Emotions of an epileptic all have an epileptic seizure? Riley's body is just seizing up on the floor because of electrical signals firing off all wrong in her physical brain, just like in real epilepsy.

     Emotion Eaters? 
Do the emotions eat? We know they sleep. Disgust had spinach stuck in her teeth in her trailer, but that's not canon.
  • Well, our bodily organs are nourished by the food we digest and the air we breathe. I assume that's what they get served.
  • Joy took a bite of a giant french fry in Imagination Land, and Riley's mom's Fear and Sadness were holding mugs during the dinner scene. Riley's First Date also shows Jordan's Fear drinking a soda. So yes, they do eat. Their food is probably sent up by the mind workers (who take care of everything else).
    • The big question is, how did Joy survive on just a bite of a giant french fry for most of the movie, and Sadness on nothing? This would likely mean they don't need it, but then why would they eat in the first place?
  • Getting into WMG territory a little, but my guess would be that it's a little of both of the above. The emotions and the other entities in Riley's subconscious will likely be sustained by whatever Riley eats, since what Riley eats basically fuels her physical and mental functions. However, in the mental realm that they live in, this will most likely be translated into the mind workers sending up whatever Riley eats in the form of rations or supplies. So, for example, if Riley eats a hamburger and french fries, at some point during or after Riley's mind will translate this as the Train of Thought sending up hamburgers and french fries for the emotions to eat, which in turn will help the emotions respond to what Riley eats ("Eww, there's pickles!" "Is this gonna make us fat?" "Aww, we finished all the soda." "Hey, Mom only got us the small fries! This stinks!" "Aw, come on, guys! Mom's letting us eat McDonalds for once! This is cool!").
  • Personally, I believe that the emotions don't NEED to eat, but occasionally do so anyway because why not? French Fries are delicious! It's more of a personal enjoyment thing, or something to kill boredom. It's probably not a detail that was meant to be taken seriously anyway. Fear drinks a coffee, not that he actually needed to be awake during dream duty.

     Riley's punishment? 
  • Stealing her mother's credit card and buying a bus ticket online behind her back? My parents would have been less than impressed if I did the same, to say the least. What repercussions would she have faced? Would she have faced any at all?
    • I imagine she probably did receive a punishment of some nature, but given that she was clearly distressed and more messed-up by the move than her parents had realised, coupled with the fact that she returned home to confess what she'd done, I wouldn't be surprised if the punishment was somewhat mitigated than it otherwise might have been. It wasn't like she just decided to run off for the hell of it, after all. Chalk it down to extreme emotional disturbance and such.
    • Also, Riley seems like she's a really good kid in general. She has a great relationship with her parents, she's upbeat and optimistic, and she comes across as being really good natured. Stealing her mum's credit card is clearly extremely out of character for her, and her parents are bound to realise it goes hand in hand with her distress about moving somewhere new and not having a good time of it. They might write it off as being a 'one time thing', or alternatively, at that moment in time they were just so happy that Riley was home and safe. They could have punished her later.

     An Old Friend Who Can Help 
  • I found it really stupid that Riley couldn't have used Bing Bong to help her get through the moving experience. If I were to move somewhere, I would've made up an imaginary friend to help me cope. Why did she just run away instead of using him? He was one of the things Riley liked about Minnesota! I get that she's 11, but some eleven year olds still have imaginary friends.
    • She doesn't call on Bing-Bong because she'd all but forgotten about him. There's a reason he starts to fade away within moments of landing in the Memory Pit, while Joy lasts longer.
    • Also, Bing Bong wouldn't change the larger things that made Riley unhappy. An imaginary friend would be helpful to counter the boredom and discomfort of living without the items in the delayed truck. Not so much fighting parents, feeling you've hopelessly embarrassed yourself at a new school, seeing your friend make a new (real) friend when you haven't made any, and failing at and Rage Quitting your favorite activity.

     What happens to your emotions when you die? 
Do the emotions panic? Does headquarters suffer breakdown/destablization?
  • It likely depends on the circumstances. If you just die of old age in your sleep your emotions may just fade away in the same way they fade into existence when you're born but if you die in a car accident or some other kind of violent death your emotions may lose control of the console as you go into a coma and headquarters may collapse.
    • Your emotions are your thoughts. You can't think while you're dead (I mean, as far as we know...) so your emotions would be dead too. Maybe even in a coma your emotions wouldn't be active. No brain activity means they're not doing anything.
      • When you're in a coma, the brain probably reacts like it does when you're asleep. Or it's like the dawn/dusk equivalent, since Sleep/Awake seems to be the Night/Day inside the head. But there's no duration, no dreams... depending on the depth of the coma depends on what works, which could be very limited depending on how deep the coma is.

     It's Bad to Have Bing Bong 
This article analyzing Bing Bong claims that some 11-year-olds still have imaginary friends, yet Riley abandons Bing Bong when she is 11. I didn't understand why she had to give him up that easily! Can you think of what Riley's classmates in San Fransisco would say to her if she still had him? also, why would it be bad for Riley to still have Bing Bong? It's not like she's gonna be in diapers for the rest of her life... And what would their moon trip have been like?
  • We've discussed this above. She didn't give up on him, she forgot about him. Some kids go longer without forgetting their old interests, but Riley isn't one of them. Even if she'd recalled Bing-Bong's existence perhaps through an old drawing or something, her personality had changed and she wouldn't be interested in him anymore. It's a theme as old as Pixar's Toy Story, that kids will inevitably grow up. It wasn't "bad" for her to have him, but if anything Bing Bong gave up on her, accepting that he had already passed his time.
  • Also, as pointed out above in "Imaginary Insanity", Bing Bong can't take the place of a real friend because he can only do what Riley wants him to. He's a servant to her whims, but real people aren't like that. If she were to stay too used being able to command around her friends, she wouldn't be able to cooperate well with real people in adulthood.
    • I think I got this now: what use would an imaginary friend have in school? With classes and friends and all that, it'd be much hard to think up your imaginary friends.
  • Why so questions about Bing Bong and how Riley's classmates would react to him if she told them? There comes an age for everyone where they're going to forget about their imaginary childhood friends and move on - that's the whole point of the movie! And as for how her friends would react, is this just a bigger issue than I thought? I always figured that the reaction of the main tween demographic to someone describing an imaginary friend from when they were three would be, "Uh, you're a total basketcase. Please move away from me."
    • It would depend on context... I mean, it's not the same if Riley spends her whole day "talking" to Bing Bong at school, and trying to introduce him to everyone, than if he ruses his "presence" as a security blanket of sorts and even more different if a she is carrying a drawing on her backpack/locker and someone else sees it "Oh, he's something I created" "Oh, cool!"

     Boyfriend from Canada? 
Why do people think that's a Avenue Q shout-out? Canada was picked because Canada is well-known for it's obsession with and talent at hockey (something Riley likes), and he says he's from Canada, not that he lives in Canada, so he's implying he moved from Canada. I'm also quite sure he describes himself as her ideal boyfriend, not imaginary.
  • That's not an Avenue Q reference, the boyfriend was a possible Captain Ersatz of Justin Bieber, who's from Canada, and is an artifact from a scene in the original drafts where he would make a cameo in the Boy Research part of Riley's mind.
  • Avenue Q is pretty popular around these parts, that particular song is one of the more well-known parts of it, and it sort of fits if you tilt your head right and squint. I guess it's just people seeing what they want to see, and so far as I know there's nothing that officially confirms it isn't intended as an Avenue Q at least in part.
  • The idea of the out of town/unknown lover is common enough to have it's own trope and the basic idea dates back as far as early Arthurian literature. One would think it would be far more likely to be a The Breakfast Club reference, given that it is a far more well known piece of pop culture.

     Mind Reading 
What if, in the IO-verse, there are some people who are actually capable of reading minds? Would those people be able to see flashes of the Mind Worlds of others, like their Headquarters?
  • It would probably depend on the type of mind-reading. If it was a sort of empathic link, giving insight into the person's emotions, it would probably be the two sets of emotions directly talking (think Star Trek style main screen). If was talking mind to mind, it would probably be conducted on a higher, more abstract level, in the same way the human characters interact without specifically being aware of the other's emotions directly.

     Joy Tells the Truth 
  • Bing Bong does realize Riley can't fit in his rocket when they are on the come Joy or Sadness didn't tell him that Riley doesn't need him anymore when he mentioned that or when his rocket fell into the dump?
    • Because that's a pretty mean and / or painful thing to say to the guy, considering that his entire existence pretty much revolves around being Riley's friend. Joy can be thoughtless, but she's not completely heartless and cruel, and Sadness's whole thing is based around empathy. In any case, it wouldn't exactly make him feel better or help them, so why bring it up?
    • I don't think Joy was even aware that Riley didn't "need" Bing Bong at that point, as she is pretty much in denial about Riley being upset about the move and keeps telling herself and others that they just need to keep things happy. She seemed to honestly think that seeing and remembering Bing Bong again would help to take Riley's mind off the move and make her happier, without realizing that Riley's grown too old for an imaginary friend, just as she thinks she can just suppress the sadness that Riley should be feeling. Sadness may realize this, on the other hand, or maybe not, but she's so oppressed by Joy on a regular basis that she doesn't see the point in trying to point it out.

     Moving back 
  • As suggested by CinemaSins, what would've happened if Riley's parents had moved back to Minnesota while Joy and Sadness were still stuck outside HQ? The goings-on inside Riley's head generally seem to correspond to stimuli in the outside world, but her two emotions being separated from the rest wasn't directly caused by anything having to do with the move, so what would Riley do and feel if she were to move back home?
    • I believe that clinical depression is caused by physical stimuli, i.e. chemical imbalances in the brain analogous to Joy and Sadness being absent from headquarters. I'm not sure if what Riley goes through is quite the same thing, i.e. something medically diagnosable that requires treatment but if it does have similar causes then simply moving back to Minnesota may not have solved all of Riley's problems as her depression had already taken hold.

     Big move=Big deal? 
  • Any reason why they chose to have a cross-country move serve as the big catalyst for Riley? I'm not acting like moves can't be very saddening and homesickening, especially really big ones, but it raises certain questions. Like, all of the emotions Sadness is able to affect are due to Riley now looking back on them sadly because they were from her time in Minnesota, but...really, all of them that she touched? Surely there would've had to have been some of them that made her happy regardless of what state they took place in, yes? My main point is, a big move, while certainly a big deal, doesn't seem that life-changing, in retrospect...
    • I think depression tends to lower your general mood without any rational justification so memories that are normally either good or neutral inexplicably make you feel sad. Like Riley's funny memory of the car and the dinosaur - the first one that sadness effected - lost its feeling of happiness because Riley's growing depression made her lose her sense of humour and ability to laugh at things. When you are going through a difficult period in your life - like being uprooted from the only life you have ever known and taken away from the friends you have had since toddlerhood - it's normal to feel sad about or emotinally disconnected from all the memories of your previous life.
    • Not sure I agree with your reasonin' a hunnerd percent there, Lou. Speaking as someone who's actually experienced a move similar to Riley's and at a similar age, a big move like that is a hugely life-changing event, particularly for a kid. You are literally packing up your entire life, saying goodbye to everyone and everything you have ever known, and starting over again somewhere completely different. All those people you saw every day at work or school? You'll never see, hear from or talk to most of them ever again. That familiar house you lived in? Someone else lives there now, and they won't have kept it the same as it was when you lived there if you happen to go back there. All those places you used to go? Gonna have to buy a plane ticket if you want to walk through them. That pizza place you used to go to? They don't deliver to where you are now. That local in-joke that you and your friends used to laugh at? No one here's heard of it, and they've got different ones you don't recognise. Used to like ice-skating on the pond when it froze in winter? Tough break, kid, there's no snow in winter here. And on top of that, you've got to meet new people, get used to a new house, find your way through unfamiliar streets, find a new pizza place you like, get used to local customs that are completely different from the ones you're used to, and about a billion other things, big and small, that are now completely different from what you're used to. Things even look, feel and smell different. Your life is now, once again literally, completely different to how it used to be. And you're saying that doesn't seem that life-changing? Either you're jaded to a truly frightening degree, or you've never actually done it.
    • If that's true, then I offer my deepest apologies for my insensitivity...I've moved between cities myself, though not between states, so I had no idea. But...the people you leave behind...wouldn't you be able to do something like, say, call them? Yes, I'm sure it's not the same as them being there in person, but there would still be ways to keep in touch with them, wouldn't there?
    • No apology needed (although it's accepted regardless); honestly, reading back over my previous post I think I was a bit sharper than I intended to be, so my apologies to you in return. I still think you're underestimating just how much is different, however. You're quite right that there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with people you care about over long distances. But think, for a moment, about everyone know. Literally everyone. Not just your loved ones and close friends, but the people you go to school or work with that you get on well with, but aren't that close to. The people who live on the same street or in the same building. The regular commuters on your way to work, the guy who owns the pizza place you frequent, and so on. You might not be very close to these people, but they are nevertheless familiar parts of your life — and if you move cross-country, you will never see these people again. Sure, you can and might regularly Skype your family and Facebook message your close friends, but that's probably about 10% of all of the people you know at most. The other 90% will completely disappear from your life. And it might sound strange, but you actually do notice these things, at least initially, because in your new home you have to get used to completely different people who do things completely differently. That's the point I was trying to make; it's not hard to start missing even seemingly small and insignificant things about 'home' after you've undertaken a huge move like Riley does, because everything is new and different now.
    • From what I've read, it doesn't necessarily have to be any concrete problems or consequences of the move that make a child depressed — it's the occurrence of such a sudden, drastic change that's completely beyond their power that overwhelms them. A child could have the nicest, most supportive, most understanding parents during a move but still subconsciously feels a sense of powerlessness and helplessness due to being thrust into a completely new environment with their life turned upside down, regardless of how good or bad the new environment and new life actually are. It's how big the change is — not how bad or good the change is — that makes it hard for the mind to adjust and recover from the shock. Of course, time tends to heal all wounds, but your mind doesn't think "I'll feel better eventually and just need to give it some time and get used to all this" — your mind tells you "I'm gonna feel this sad and scared and out of control forever!" Your emotions treat big changes as a big deal, but, as the movie shows, it's okay to feel your emotions strongly — it doesn't make you weak or crazy, just human, so express them instead of keeping them bottled up. Then you might see the change is not as big a deal as it seems.

    In-universe psychologists 
How does the field of psychology work in the Inside Out universe? Do psychologists work with the same theories as in real life, without realizing they're incorrect? Or is it actually based on how we know the mind really works in that universe? Does psychotherapy involve communicating directly with emotions and mind workers? Do psychologists study transcribed copies of mind manuals? Is it common for people to deal with psychological problems (or just have fun) by entering their Mental Worlds in some way, such as through lucid dreaming, like in the fan fiction Intercom? Psychology, as a field of study practiced by humans, isn't mentioned in the movie, so we can only guess how it compares to real life psychology.
  • There's no evidence that people on the 'outside' are aware of the emotions on the 'inside', so I assume that the field of psychology works more or less the same as it does in the real world. The world of the emotions is basically a kid-friendly adventure movie way or actualizing some genuine theories about how human psychology works, after all.
    • But my point is that there's no real evidence they aren't aware either. Nobody on the outside said anything about how they think the mind works, correct or otherwise.
    • Well, yes, but considering that the 'outside' world is clearly supposed to be a relatively realistic representation of our reality, and in our reality we don't have concrete proof of the existence of colourful energy beings living in our minds that generate our emotions, Occam's Razor suggests that neither do the humans in the movie. Since widespread knowledge of the emotion entities would significantly impact human understanding of psychology (and thus the society that the characters live in), if we were supposed to think that they did know about the existence of the emotions as actual entities the filmmakers would have included something to suggest this. They didn't, so we can safely assume that the humans in the movie by and large have no idea about the existence of the emotion entities until informed otherwise.
  • Psychology in Riley's Verse isn't necessarily incorrect, just less complete than its practitioners realize. The methods used by Real Life psychologists will still work about as well as they do in reality, as demonstrated by Sadness's cathartic talk with Bing Bong.

     Alarm vs Button 
Ok, I gotta know the fandom's vote. So, Puberty. Is it an alarm, or is it a button? There's been cases for both, and the way it looks makes me think it could be either. So which is it?
  • I don't remember what it looks like from the movie that well (probably because the red color channel on the projector died toward the end) but I think an alarm makes a lot more sense. Puberty isn't triggered by a psychological process like emotions.
  • Having managed to get a close look at what this is referring to, I noticed a pair of reflective plates in the center that are indicative of it being an alarm.

     Memory Replacement 
  • During the hockey game, why couldn't Anger, Fear, or Disgust just input some other hockey memory for Riley to play off of? Sure, she doesn't have the original core one, but she's had to have made dozens of other happy memories from the times she spent playing hockey, right?
    • They tried. It didn't work because it wasn't a Core Memory.

     Credit Card Confusion 
  • Why would Honesty Island collapse after Riley stole her mom's credit card? The look on her face seems to suggest that she thought it was an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, and she didn't even yell at her for it.
    • Honesty Island collapses because stealing your mother's credit card and using it to buy tickets so that you can run away from home without her knowing is a secretive and dishonest thing to do. Riley's mom doesn't actually notice her do it; it briefly looks like she has for a tense moment, but it turns out that Riley's mom is distracted by her phone-call to the moving company about their waylaid belongings, and doesn't actually look in Riley's direction until Riley's already made off with the card.

     Shot In The Head, And You're To Blame 
  • What would happen to the Mind World if a bullet from a gun went through the brain?
    • Since that would at least cause significant brain damage, if not outright death, I imagine it would be something along the lines of a traumatic and destructive collapse.
    • They'd all die.

     Which Twin Is Which? 
  • What goes on in a parent with identical twins' mind when they confuse one of them for the other one in this universe?
    • ...Huh? The parent would see one twin, think it's the other twin, address them as such, and possibly be embarrassed when they discover they're mistaken. I'm not sure what this has to do with their emotions...
    • You mean, what do a parent's emotions do when said parent's emotions correctly recognize an identical twin child but the parent doesn't? I doubt there would be a discrepancy — the emotions know what their host knows. Notice how Riley's emotions decide being happy is the right thing to do after Riley's mother tells her that. How it takes adult!Disgust as much time as baby!Riley to recognize broccoli.

     Where Did Bing Bong Go? 
  • Where did Bing Bong go after he faded? Some people suggested he went into Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, but I don't find that crossover believable...did he go to somewhere like heaven or hell (since he did a few bad things before he died)? If not, where do you think he went to after he faded?
    • He was forgotten. Therefore he ceased to exist because his existence depended on Riley's memory. If heaven and hell exist in the Inside Out verse, it's still doubtful he'd go to either because he's a product of Riley's mind and Riley isn't dead yet.
    • I was thinking of more of a heaven and/or hell like place in Riley's mind for forgotten memories. What do you think it would be like?
    • As grim as it may sound, I think he just might be...gone. Every component of Riley's mind shown in the film corresponds to some real-life mental process...While it's true that we outgrow our imaginary friends, and may designate somewhere special for them to go after this happens (a la Foster's), once you specifically forget something completely as is sad as it is, it's gone forever. Bing Bong being forgotten means he is effectively erased from Riley's mind, meaning he is presumably incapable of acting upon or affecting any part of it afterward. He's just...gone. (That's...what I feel anyway. The concept of 'heaven' is a personal belief of some people, so unless Riley has something like it imagined up inside her head, I'm not sure whether it could be called into play.)
    • But then why would Pixar make the choice to kill Bing Bong if it's obvious he'd never come back again? I've known Pixar has had some sad moments in the past, but this was never like any of those moments (unless you count the first 10 minutes of ''Up). Couldn't they have WARNED us about him dying? Bing Bong's "She won't fit in my rocket" wasn't enough to warn us. Maybe they could've had an Imagine Spot where Riley thinks of bringing Bing Bong back, but imagines that her classmates would laugh and tease her and she'd gain a negative Personality Island: Immaturity Island and she begins to turn into a toddler!
    • Well, they couldn't really have done the latter since the whole point was that Riley had completely forgotten Bing-Bong, and it would completely weaken the pathos of Bing-Bong coming to terms with being forgotten (and, by extension, 'dying') if Riley was, well, constantly remembering him. Forgetting something isn't a conscious choice you make, it's something that just happens. You've almost certainly forgotten all sorts of things from when you were a toddler without consciously realising it, since as you grow older and your mental processes change you simply don't think about them anymore. As for why Pixar "made the choice to kill Bing Bong if it's obvious he'd never come back again", well, that's what death is. Sad, but true.
    • But what about when people tell you to forget stuff? I was thinking maybe Meg told her to forget about Bing Bong, and that caused her to forget him forever.
    • Leaving aside the question of why exactly Meg would tell Riley to do forget her imaginary friend, you don't forget things immediately just because someone tells you to do so. It's just a process that happens after you don't think about something for a while, for whatever reason.
    • Then why in real life does our mind forget things? The movie never says why forgetting stuff is healthy for Riley.
    • It's not about healthy or not, really; it's just a thing that happens. The mind ultimately just has a limited capacity for storing and retrieving memories and eventually they just fade away if enough time goes by without them being called upon. It's particularly common for early childhood memories to be lost (it's not fully understood why, but it likely has something to do with the fact that mental processes are still developing).

     What exactly is Sadness' newly-found role? 
  • As is semi-seriously pointed out by the How It Should Have Ended Inside Out parody [1], it seems like the most sensible conclusion the emotions should have drawn from the films events is 'from now on don't let Sadness near the memories'. She proved herself useful in reactivating the console and showing Riley's parents that she needed support and compassion to cope with the move but that was all to solve problems that she had created herself in the first place by touching the memories. As long as she ensured that she never did anything like that again there should never be any need for her to take control. It's made clear how Fear, Disgust and Anger can be beneficial to Riley in day-to-day circumstances - to keep her safe, keep her from being poisoned and ensure she is treated fairly - but what is Sadness' day-to-day role? It's implied to be to show others when Riley needs compassion and comforting but she shouldn't need these things unless she feels sad in the first place which - as long as Sadness never takes control - she should never need to.
    • Putting aside the callousness of keeping Sadness to the sidelines like they were already doing, there's no guarantee the other emotions would always be able to keep Sadness away from the core memories. She was constantly being called to them, and sooner or later their guard would slip and Sadness would affect something. If Riley isn't allowed to feel Sadness outside of random accidents, the effects became catastrophic. Had Riley been allowed to feel sad sooner and for longer periods rather her single outburst in the classroom, she might not have broken down as badly. A slow burn is less harmful than a sudden crash.

      As for Sadness' day to day role, we see it with both her comforting of Bing-Bong and Riley's confession to her family, Sadness' role is compassion. Even when Riley doesn't feel sad, her friends' might be and may need empathy from her. Suppose her friend fails a test or their pet dies. Under Joy, a proclamation of "you'll totally ace the next test!" or "you can get a new pet!" might come off as insensitive, while a melancholy reminiscing on how unfair that test was or how nice their pet was will lead Riley to connect with people better.
    • In short, what's important to remember is that the emotions are Riley. What happens to them happens to her, even if it's not as direct. Sadness trying to reach out toward the happy emotions, and respectively turning them sad, is Riley saying to herself, "I really am sad about leaving Minnesota, when I stop and think about it. I miss playing hockey, and my friends...Minnesota's where I grew up, and things aren't going going so well here in San Francisco, either." And then Joy hurries into the picture to shoo Sadness away, which is Riley telling herself, "No, no, I can't be sad about this. Dad's having trouble at work, and Mom's already asked to keep a smile on my face, and I'll let them down if I don't try and keep things positive. I can't show them that I'm really sad right now." Because of this, Riley spends the remainder of the movie (before Joy leaves HQ, anyways) being happy. It's not at all a convincing or very heartening kind of happy, but that's the point. She's basically left to resort to being a Stepford Smiler until Sadness is allowed to express her true feelings in the end.

    Sacrificial Questions 
  • Why couldn't the rocket carry both Joy and Bing Bong, and why wasn't Bing Bong angry or sad when Joy made it to the top of the cliff and he didn't?
    • It couldn't carry them both because he was too heavy. And he wasn't angry that Joy made it out and he didn't because he made the choice to sacrifice himself. He knows Riley needs Joy back more than him, and he was happy to see his trick to lighten the rocket wagon work.
    • But why is Bing Bong so heavy? If his death was a metaphor for something, what was his weight a metaphor for, and why would Riley need Joy more than Bing Bong? Bing Bong was better than the imaginary boyfriend, who was basically just Justin Bieber.
    • He's heavy because he's an elephant and because the wagon was built for children. Riley needs Joy more than Bing Bong because Joy is an entire Core Emotion. If Bing Bong had lived but not Joy, Riley never would have been able to feel happy again.
    • Okay, so there's few things I have to clarify: Bing Bong claimed he was MOSTLY cotton candy, which is a very light-weight food, but he was only PART elephant. The second thing is that I thought that Bing Bong can take the place of Joy if she ever died. Would that make Riley do childish things (such as throwing tantrums, incidents of Potty Failure, and sucking her thumb)?
      • Bing Bong would have been unable to operate the console. Same as when Fear and the others tried to use a "normal" memory in the core module and it kept rejecting it, the console would have been unresponsive to Bing Bong's manipulation, or it will have outright rejected him. Without Joy, while Riley could be "Happy", she would have been unable to experience ... well, joy, again.
      • The problem with the cart isn't that Bing-Bong literally weighs as much as an elephant; its that however much he weighs is too much for both him and Joy to fly out of the pit together.
    • Bing-Bong was a metaphor for Riley maturing; specifically, Riley maturing from a toddler / little girl to a preteen. The fact that Bing-Bong is a more interesting character than the Imaginary Boyfriend doesn't really matter in this sense; the Imaginary Boyfriend is more suited to Riley's mentality now, whereas Bing-Bong was created by Riley as she was when she was a four-year old, and so doesn't really serve a purpose for Riley now. In a few years, when Riley's eighteen, the Imaginary Boyfriend will probably go much the same way as Riley's mentality changes further, just as things will change again when she's twenty-four, thirty, forty-two and so on.
  • Why didn't Bing Bong get angry at Joy when he was dying? How come he realized that Riley needed Joy more than him? Why is Joy more important than Bing Bong?
    • Again, because he chose to sacrifice himself for Riley's well being. He was always sweet and good natured, being angry at Joy for something that she literally didn't had a choice wouldn't make sense and would be highly out of character for him. Joy is part of Riley, she is the sole reason she is able to feel... well, "joy", she is more important for Riley than him because he is, as harsh as it sounds, replaceable, but Joy isn't.

     Her first memory's a happy one? 
  • Why was Joy born within Riley when her first memory, of her birth, was recorded? Babies aren't necessarily happy when they're born - if anything, they're afraid, because it's bright, and cold and loud, and they were in this warm, quiet place a second ago and then suddenly they're not, and now they don't know where they are. That's the reason why most babies cry when they come out, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I thought I remembered Riley crying in this scene. With this in mind, wouldn't Fear be a better first emotion than Joy, even if it's not as strong or crucial to the story?
    • Rule of Drama; it sets up Joy and the conflict between herself and Sadness quicker and easier. Just handwave it as Riley not actually creating any clear new memories during the actual process of being born as it's a very confusing time (from the point of view of the baby at least), her mental faculties would be limited and thus she'd have very little ability to clearly process (and thus later remember) what was going on.
    • Joy manifested just as Riley's first happy memory was created, which rather implies that emotions need to be on-site at Headquarters for their color of memory-sphere to be generated. Fear may have been held in reserve until later for good reason, to ensure she wouldn't remember the traumatic birthing process and have her subsequent personality warped by that trauma.

     Honesty Hammer 
  • In the Honesty Island Core Memory, what do you think Riley was doing by breaking a plate with a hammer? I think she could've been pretending she was a fairy or something.
    • Kids often break stuff because they feel like it.
    • Kids also like to pretend to fix things, even if they're not even broken to begin with, and one of the simplest ways they think to do this is just by whacking them with a hammer. Whoops!

     Forget it! 
  • Isn't there a way for the emotions to send memories from HQ directly into the memory dump? I thought I remembered there being one because Joy tried to send the sad core memory down through it, but anyway...if there is one, why don't the emotions just use it to get rid of the Triple-Dent Gum jingle whenever it gets sent up?
    • Joy just tries to send the sad core memory down to long term to stop it creating a personality island. As for why emotions don't just do this to the Triple-Dent Gum memory, it seems that sometimes they lose control over memories when they become 'stuck' in Riley's head, like when they struggle to shift the memory that Sadness corrupts during the classroom scene, giving her the chance to take over the console and creare the sad core memory in the first place.
    • The tubes just send everything down to be sorted by the memory workers; they end up filing them on the shelves or sending them to the dump. Joy was just trying to get it out of Headquarters, not necessarily send it straight into the pit. The Triple-Dent Gum advert keeps getting sent up because the memory workers like to prank Headquarters by constantly sending it up there.
    • Fair enough, but then why don't the emotions just keep the memory up inside headquarters?
    • In that case, IIRC ''all' the memory spheres except the core memories get sucked away into long-term memory at the end of the day, and I'd imagine that includes memory spheres which are summoned up from Long-Term Memory. I'd imagine it's automatic. Even if they did, given that it's an advertising jingle, I'd imagine that it's probably pretty omnipresent; next time Riley heard it on TV or the radio or even from her own memory she could create another memory sphere of it, which would get sent back into Long-Term Memory, which meant that the memory workers could send it back up again... do that often enough, there's too many memory spheres to keep about the place, and it doesn't become worth it.

    Anger's role? 
First of all, I am not complaining about characters I don't like. Anger was actually my favorite emotion, due to being voiced by Lewis Black and all. But this still bothers me: how is Anger helpful? They say that he "keeps things fair", but he never once did anything even remotely useful. In his introduction scene, he causes Toddler Riley to throw a tantrum at dinner. He's the one who gets Riley sent to her room, and the one who causes her to run away. The film treats Sadness like the emotion with the least obvious positive role, but I feel it's Anger who causes the most trouble.
  • I think 'keeps things fair' means he allows Riley to stand up for herself. Joy and Anger combined would likely produce 'righteousness', allowing Riley to protest against unfair treatment and fight for things she's entitled to. He mainly causes problems during the main events of the film as Joy isn't around to act as a balancing force, symbolising how Riley's anger gets out of control during her emotional problems. As for when she is a toddler, all of the emotions (except for maybe Joy) act immaturely during this time. Disgust irrationally rejects broccoli as 'poisonous', Fear freaks out over things that aren't very dangerous and Sadness causes Riley to throw tantrums over insignificant things. This is because they're mentally on a similar level to Riley and they grow up with her. As she grows up her emotions will become more stable (like those of her parents) and Anger will learn more self-control.
  • I would say Anger's positive side is drive, determination, passion, motivation. (Look at the positive traits under Choleric on Four-Temperament Ensemble; excluding Disgust, the emotions neatly fit the temperaments.) Riley has a strong interest: hockey, something that takes a lot of hard work, repetitive practice, etc. Anger is good at that sort of thing. To your last sentence, it's not so much the film but the other emotions that treat Sadness as negative. It's entirely possible that Joy questioned Anger's role before the time of the film, but being determined, dominant, and bossy, he would have argued back, explaining his purpose (and thereby "keeping things fair"). Sadness, timid and humble, isn't cut out to do this, which gives the others the opportunity to walk all over her.
    • The association of Anger with drive and determination and even confidence is confirmed by how, on Riley's first day in school, Joy tells Anger that she's got a big new stock of daydreams for him to take care of. Riley would be inclined to have daydreams about being a hockey star, suggesting that Anger and Joy together help to keep Riley ambitious.
  • It's worth noting that at the end, the new Hockey Island core memory is a mix of Joy and Anger. Sports often involves a lot of emotions in feeling you worked hard to win, that you're doing good, that you deserve to win, etc. So going off the previous entries, the two mixed together would probably be passion, for sports in this case.

    Falling Sadness 
When Joy and Sadness get sucked up into the long-term memory tube, they both fall into a bin of seemingly recent memories. The core memories fall out of Joy's hands, and Sadness falls into the bin before she scrambles to pick them up. Why doesn't Sadness turn the memories she touched by falling into the bin sad, and why doesn't that effect also transfer, or start to transfer over, to the core memories, since we see that Sadness' touch conducts through memories without her necessarily touching them?
  • For the first part, she actually does. It's very blink-and-you-miss-it, because the camera focuses on Joy and moves with her, but the memories directly under Sadness in the cart are all blue, and whenever she touches one as she moves about it turns blue as well. As for the core memories, they're further away from Sadness at that point, and at that point in the film at least she seems to have to be within touching distance of a memory for the changing effect to occur. Note that Joy is very quick to scoop them up and keep them close after that point.
  • This is the original poster here. After studying the movie in detail, Sadness did turn all of the memories she touched blue, including the ones that she touched when getting out of the bin. I find it odd, though, that the memories she touched became instantaneously blue, their transformation being more of a nuance than an emphasized effect (unlike the other times when she taints memories.)
    • The two memories she turns blue early on before that turn blue off screen; it could have been just as instantaneous for them as for the ones in the bin. The core memories take longer, but, being memories that Riley values more than others, it's not too much of a stretch to assume they're more resistant to being changed.

    Disgust's Welding Mask 
In the scene where Disgust used Anger as a blowtorch, you see her with a welding mask. I know this was mainly just for Rule of Funny, but it still raises the question of where she would have obtained one.
  • Throughout the film, emotions seem to be able to pull things directly out of hammerspace.
    • I thought of that, and that would be a good explanation considering the normal laws of physics don't completely apply there. But if that's just something they can do, one has to wonder why it wasn't used more. For instance, there are several points in the movie where a jetpack would have come in handy.
      • ...Maybe Anger being used as a blowtorch is a common occurrence at HQ, and Disgust just keeps the mask on her at all times, in case it comes in handy. And just because they can pull some things out of hammerspace doesn't mean they can just whip out whatever they desire in a pinch like that.
      • ...Or, maybe it's the power of creativity and im-MAG-ination. Using a living person as a blowtorch could be creative enough for you to really have a lot of feeling about it, which might be enough to make it real in Riley's head. Joy and Sadness whipping out a jetpack and flying back to HQ, contrariwise, is pretty dull, straightforward, and by the books, all things considered, so there's not really enough imagination involved for it to be able to be brought into existence like that.

    Emotions can already talk? 
  • Sadness's first line was "Hi. I'm Sadness.", immediately followed by Joy's, "Oh, hello. I’m Joy.". How are they able to speak English when Riley was literally just born and hasn't yet learned the language, or even just those few words?
    • Maybe it's a representation of how emotions are developed faster than language. If you're a baby, you may not know how to talk, but you certainly know how to feel.
    • The emotions are also "the voices inside your head" (i.e. your thoughts). As a baby, you still have thoughts (albeit rather simplistic ones) but you can't express them, and while you might not be able to communicate immediately, you are nevertheless developing the mental processes that will enable you to learn how to communicate.
  • The movie does make it clear, both in the beginning and the end, that Joy is narrating. What if, by extension, the whole part where Joy and Sadness met was actually misremembered by Joy, who filled in details based on her own experience? The memory could exist in her mind as this: "As Joy is looking at baby Riley, she notices that someone else, likely her polar opposite, is at the console's only button. They meet and greet, and immediately begin fighting for control." Nothing in here actually requires verbal communication, or, for that matter, a handshake exchanged by Sadness and Joy, as Riley is still yet to learn what a handshake even is. However, as Joy, as of now, can talk, any time when she couldn't talk wouldn't make sense to her at all, and therefore she would fill in the part with dialogue as it could have likely gone, even if on the face of it, the idea that any dialogue could have taken place is ludicrous.

    Bing Bong's hobo outfit 
I understand why he's wearing the outfit when he meets Joy and Sadness, since he's been abandoned by Riley and is thus homeless. But how come he's wearing the same outfit during the flashbacks and when Riley draws him on the wall?
  • The outfit is just a hobo-fied version of what he used to wear when he was playing with Riley all the time. If you wear an expensive Savile Row-tailored suit every day while living rough on the streets, it's eventually gonna look pretty ragged as well.

    Who Exactly Are You Supposed To Be? 
How come Joy and Fear recognize Bing Bong, but Sadness doesn't?
  • I assume it's simply because she hasn't seen or thought about him in a while, and probably had less to do with him than Joy (who would most likely be in control whenever Riley was playing with Bing-Bong). It's a clue that Riley's been gradually forgetting about Bing-Bong and that he's not necessarily got long left for this world. Remember also that Joy doesn't recognise him immediately either; it takes a bit of memory-jogging for her to put the dots together.
    • If it has to do with who was in control when Riley played with Bing Bong, then why does it take Joy longer to recognize him than it does Fear when Joy would have been in control a lot more?
    • Rule of Storytelling. By that point, we already know who Bing-Bong is, we don't need to be introduced to him again via the characters, so we don't need to spend a comparatively long amount of time watching Fear wrack his brains to recognize him, especially for the purposes of what is simply a cut-away gag. We can infer from Fear's slightly questioning tone ("Bing Bong?") that, like Joy and Sadness, Fear vaguely recognises Bing Bong but hasn't seen him in a while so he's slipped from the memory somewhat. I was also speculating slightly when I made the suggestion about Joy remembering him more because she would be in control around him more frequently.

     What causes Riley to snap out of it? 
This is a bit complicated but I'll try to explain it as clearly as I can. Throughout the film, the events inside Riley's head involving the emotions are used as analogies for the physical processes that take place in the human brain in real life. When Riley breaks down during the classroom scene, what is happening from a real world point of view is that her brain is struggling to comprehend genuine sadness for the first time, resulting in the physical problems in her brain that cause her depression; whilst what is happening from a fictional point of view is that Joy and Sadness as struggling over the core memory, resulting in them both being ejected from headquarters. When Riley has the Triple-Dent Gum jingle running through her head, what is happening from a real-world point of view is that whatever physical process that causes ear-worms is taking place in her brain, whilst what is happening from a fictional point of view is that the mind-workers are sending the memory up to headquarters.

But what about when Riley suddenly snaps out of it on the bus back to Minnesota and asks to get off? What is happening from a fictional point of view is that Joy and Sadness have returned to headquarters and Sadness has reactivated the console and removed the idea. But what physical process in the brain could suddenly cause Riley to come out of her brief depression and have the ability to feel the sadness she has been bottling up? As I understand it, people who sink into depression can't just be brought out of it instantly, it requires time and support from external sources, like talking about your problems to a family member or a councillor.

  • Riley isn't immediately brought out of her depression. Note that while Sadness and Joy stop her from running away from home, Riley's depression doesn't properly end until she returns home and admits to her parents that she's unhappy (in essence, she does exactly what you say — she seeks support from an external source). What's happening on the bus is actually Riley changing her mind about something; Sadness and Joy aren't instantly making her happy, they're helping her realise that her idea to run away is in fact a bad one and she needs to return home. She's having an epiphany, basically. It's also worth perhaps noting that there's a distinction between minor depression, which is usually temporary and affected by circumstances, and major (clinical) depression, which is ongoing and does require extensive external support and counselling in order to overcome (or at least live with). Riley's depression in the movie is arguably closer to the former than the latter, which is arguably why it's (comparatively) more easily dealt with.
  • But Riley had entered a period of emotional shut-down that was the peak of her depression and this was immediately brought to an end; she does partially come out of the deepest part of the depression she has entered. When Sadness removes the idea she looks scared, jumps up and shouts to be let off when up until a second before she had been sitting in an emotional stupor unable to feel anything. What exactly was it that caused her to have her epiphany and realise that running away was a bad idea?
  • There's a couple possible answers here depending on what you're asking, and I'm not entirely sure what that is, so I've split them into two:
    • The first is that Sadness removing the Idea is what causes Riley's epiphany. The Idea is what's locking the emotions out the console and causing the emotional shut-down; once it's removed, Riley is no longer under its influence, and the console comes back online, meaning that the emotions can use it to influence her again, which they do.
    • The second is that nothing 'external' leads Riley to have her epiphany, but she's been essentially been thinking about nothing else but running away for several hours at this point, and the epiphany is simply the moment that she comes to the sudden realisation that it's actually a mistake rather than the good idea she'd initially convinced herself it was (or tried to convince herself it was, anyway). Ever had an idea you thought was good, but kept thinking about it over and over until at some point you suddenly thought something along the lines of "Hang on, this is actually a really terrible idea, what am I doing?!"? Basically, Riley did that. Riley has essentially been on autopilot and 'sleepwalking' her way through her entire plan, and the epiphany is essentially the moment she 'wakes up', realises what she's doing and the full implications, and rejects it.
    • And to bring the two together, Sadness removing the Idea from the console is essentially what allows Riley to make this realisation. The Idea has basically been, if not 'controlling' Riley, then influencing her. She's basically been trying to convince herself that its a great idea and that she's doing the right thing. The moment Sadness removes the idea, Riley is no longer under its influence, and so is able to realise that it's actually a mistake.
  • As for Riley's initial response, Riley is simply having an initial moment of instinctive panic and alarm over the fact that she is within seconds of making a massive, terrible and irreversible mistake, putting herself in all manner of possible danger as a result, and is trying to course-correct as quickly as possible. It's a fight-or-flight response, basically. To reiterate, her depression at this point is not insignificant, but it's a mild case based on her current circumstances, not an ongoing case of severe clinical depression requiring intensive psychological therapy to treat, meaning that her emotional recovery is likely to be quicker (and if it's unrealistically quick — which I don't particularly think it is on rewatching, but that's a debate for another day — then it's still a cartoon intended largely for kids, not an academic psychology lecture, so we can give the makers a bit of leeway).
  • Well Word of God said the emotions (as well as everything else in Riley's mind) are in another dimension that's linked to Riley. The reason they said that was to indicate they weren't physically located inside her brain. But it also shows that, in-universe, it isn't just a metaphor—there actually is another dimension where all that happens. It's not just the film's way of showing the meaning of the normal physical brain processes in a dramatic and understandable way; that's actually how people's minds function in that universe.

     The Moving Company's Mistake 
How did a moving truck going from Minneapolis to San Francisco end up in Texas?

     The blue Core Memory being in the Memory Dump. 
When Joy falls into the Memory Dump, she finds the blue Core Memory Sadness inadvertently created earlier. How did it get down there? It was sent through the same tube every memory gets sent through to be sorted, and it was nowhere close to fading enough for the Mind Workers to think it needed dumping.
  • When the last couple of memory islands are collapsing, they pull down a few blocks of shelves and the memories contained on them as well. It was probably on one of those.
  • My memory might be faulty, but I had thought that Joy caught it before it could be plugged in and sent it to the dump. But I might be remembering wrong.
    • Looked to me like it had been sent up the same recall tube memories are sent up every night to be sorted into long-term memory. Watching the scene again, you can see the short term memories in the background rolling away like they did when they were sent to long-term memory as Joy and Sadness are fighting over the core memory, so this is most likely the case.

     The Emotions and their clothes 
What is the significance of the clothing each emotion wears? Joy's bright green dress makes some sense since bright colors are mostly used to represent happiness, but what about the clothes of the other characters?
  • Well, Fear wears a tweed suit, showing he's trying to seem confident but really comes off as dorky. Sadness wears a sweater and glasses, projecting a look that is both shielded (trying to conceal her feelings) and "homely" (sad for being teased at being overweight, with glasses, and wearing a plain sweater). Disgust wears a sparkling dress, and she's concerned with fashion and cleanliness. Anger wears a suit, perhaps to show that he takes his work seriously and also that he has an obligation to keep his rampages under control even though he often doesn't. As for Joy's dress, it's a more casual sundress than Disgust, something you can have fun in rather than showing off. She's also barefoot, and that's often associated with free-spiritedness and childishness, and Joy wants Riley to be as happy as she was as a child.

     Regarding Phone Numbers 
Riley is an Millennial. When has she ever memorized a Phone Number?
  • I would guess she might have memorised her own phone number in case she ever needed to give it to anyone, and maybe her parents may have made her memorise theirs in case of emergency.
  • Riley isn't a Millennial, first off, since Millennials stopped being born in 2000. Second, kids aren't born with phones, and subconscious memory is still memory. Even people who've always had cell phones need to learn a phone number in order to enter it into a phone.
    • She'll also have had to read it out every time she's given her number to somebody else - a friend, relatives, her team coach, the guy who takes her pizza order - and that repetition, in itself, would be enough to create at least some long-term memories.
  • Are children these days born with cell phones? Must make birthing them strange. Does it show up on an ultrasound whether the kid will have an iPhone or an Android? She's 11. The cell phone is probably a new thing. Previously, she likely had to remember the phone numbers of friends to call them, or have them written down and read them as she dialed them.
  • It's 7 digits, not exactly difficult to memorise. Take 867-5309 for example - you've probably heard it like, twice, and yet you memorised it.
    • That's also part of a song. Music makes things easier to remember; look at every commercial ever. It still doesn't explain the base question.
    • Not the OP, but "doesn't explain the base question" seems a little questionable; song-based example aside, the OP's point is clearly that a seven-digit number is hardly overly taxing on someone's memory if they want to remember it, even for a modern kid raised in a world of cellphones. Especially, as noted elsewhere, if it's a number that they make a point of remembering for practical reasons (their own number or their parents', for example). I can recite my parents' home number in my sleep if needed, and it's never been put to music that I'm aware of. And that's a nine digit number.

     Implied Failsafe Failure 
The two times we see the Memory Vacuum being used purely as intended(to suck up short term memories to be sorted into long-term memory storage after Riley goes to sleep), and again when Fear tries to use it to leave, the tube reaches all the way down to the ground. You'd think this feature would prevent the events that kicked off the movie—Joy, Sadness, and all of the core memories being sucked up the tube accidentally—from happening, but nope; that happens because when Joy activates it to send the blue core memory away(which wouldn't even be a valid plan if this feature still worked), even though it's otherwise functioning as intended(note the short-term memories being sent away in the background as Joy and Sadness squabble over the blue core memory), it stops far enough above the ground for them to be sucked in. Why?
  • When Fear got into the tube, it may be important to note that the tube, in fact, seems to have two different functions, and not only the one of transferring memories to long term when Riley goes to sleep. It seems that Joy triggered the tube's second function: to send recalled memories back to long term. The two emotions may have activated two different functions of the recall tube.
    • Then why, as I said, were all of the already formed short term memories sent away when Joy activated it to send away the blue core memory if that wasn't the function she activated?
  • IIRC events go roughly like this:
    • Joy summons the tube.
    • Joy sends the blue core memory into the tube.
    • The other core memories are dislodged, distracting Joy and forcing her to try and collect them while also keeping Sadness away from them. During this time, the short term memories are sucked away.
    • Joy, Sadness and the other core memories are sucked into the tube.
  • Ergo, I suggest that Joy was so desperate to send the blue core memory away that she sent it up before the tube had finished fully lowering but as soon as the vacuum came on, and / or only lowered the tube part of the way in order to get this done quicker. Perhaps if you only step on the button for a nanosecond or two shorter than you should it only comes down part way. Then, while she was trying to get the other core memories, the short term memories are sent to long term memory, after which Joy, Sadness and the other core memories are sucked up as well. In any case, Rule of Drama; Joy and Sadness have to get down to Long-Term Memory somehow.

     Greeting Manners 
  • Joy and Bing Bong fall in the memory dump because Riley forgot to say goodbye to her parents. I've done this many times when I was Riley's age and I never got in trouble for it. Why was that event powerful enough to send them both to the dump?
    • Family Island didn't start collapsing just because Riley didn't greet them. It was because she chose there to run away and not tell them anything. Not greeting them one time wouldn't have meant anything except that this specific time was her deliberately abandoning them.
     Forgotten Culprit 
  • Who do you think in Riley's world caused her to forget about Bing Bong? Why are THEY more important than Bing Bong, and why would Riley forget about something like a trip to the moon?
    • I think this has been discussed before, but nothing really caused Riley to forget about Bing-Bong; it was just a natural process of her growing up and developing new interests and thought processes that took her attention away from Bing-Bong. There probably wasn't an inciting incident that caused her to say "Right, I'm gonna forget about Bing-Bong now," she just... didn't really need to think about him any more. As for how she forgot a trip to the moon, let's not forget that the moon trip wasn't real; you probably had all sorts of imaginary adventures as a kid that you can't even remember now, because they were purely imaginary.
    • What really angered me about Riley forgetting the moon trip was that Riley broke a promise to her friend! Breaking promises isn't good for a friendship!
    • In the context of the movie, as far as Riley knows, Bing Bong is not real and furthermore, is was a promise she made as a toddler. Forgetting something you did as a toddler isn't odd, and wasn't done in purpose.
    • Again: the moon trip was purely imaginary. Leaving aside the fact that Bing-Bong was a figment of Riley's imagination (so far as she knows), when the promise is "let's fly a magic song-powered pull-cart to the moon", that's a promise that can't be fulfilled in the first place, so we can probably forgive Riley for 'breaking' it. And frankly, getting angry about it is a pretty good sign that you might be taking this a little too seriously.
    • To answer your questions, it was probably Meg, Riley's real friend. Once she had someone like that to be her friend, Bing Bong simply wasn't necessary for her anymore. Thus she forgot him, including all her imagined adventures with him, because she was having real life adventures with her new best friend. I would say a real life friend should be considered more important than an imaginary one.

     How Was the Mixed Memory Made? 
  • We know the nature of the hockey memory Joy finds in the Memory Dump. Riley's team lost because of her mistake, so she started sadly. She becomes happy when her parents and her team comes to cheer her up. But what happened at Headquarters at that time? Was Joy distracted somehow, and when she found Sadness at the console, just sent her away? She must have known Riley shouldn't have felt happy for a lost match.
    • She may have viewed it only in the short term, i.e. "All our friends came to cheer for us; see, there was nothing to be sad about."
    • Because the marble memory was made at a time of mixed emotions. The earlier memory was made at a time that started out sad (it's my fault we lost the big game!) but ended up happy (my parents and friends love me anyway!); essentially, it was a memory that went from one state (sad) to another state (happy). The sadness went away and was replaced by happiness. The latter memory, however, was made at a time when Riley's emotions were 'conflicted', so to speak; on one hand, she was still feeling deeply sad about losing everything from Minnesota, but at the same time was feeling deeply happy about receiving confirmation that her parents were feeling the same as she was, and that they loved her and would be there for her no matter how she felt. She was essentially feeling both sad and happy at the same time, thus requiring a more complex form of memory sphere.

     About the puberty indicator. 
  • I just noticed; the puberty light has around it one button in Joy's color, one is Disgust's, one in Fear's, three in Sadness', and none in Anger's. Is there some meaning behind this?
    • Probably not; since there are some white and orange buttons on the console as well, odds are the ones that just happen to have colors that match the emotions don't have any real connection to them.

     Naked Riley 
  • Why did Riley run around naked and was suggestively shaking her butt?
    • Because that's something some highly energetic toddlers happen to do? Baby dances often involve them bobbing their bodies around, with or without clothes. For the first part of the question, it looked like her parents were in the middle of changing her or something before she decided to "goof off".
    • That scene was in no way "suggestive". She was a toddler at the time, they don't have any concept of nudity being sexual or taboo at that age. She was just innocently goofing off, and happened to be naked at the time. Her dad is chasing her with a towel, so she'd probably just finished a bath.

     Missing Core Memory 
  • When Sadness is projecting all of Riley's core memories at the end, she starts with Friendship Island's memory, then Family Island's, then Goofball, then Hockey...then a generic memory of Riley skating with her parents. What was that doing there and what happened to Honesty Island's memory?
    • Isn't it obvious? That IS honesty Island's core memory. Just like how Family Island got a memory replaced once Riley realized their importance in dealing with the move, my guess is that the memory of Riley skating with her parents was her new Honesty up from after the hammer and plate incident. Perhaps it was about Riley learning to say that she enjoys things like Skating to her parents. Hence how it turned out Happy to Sad in Sadness's hands.
      • From what the movie demonstrates, the only time a memory has any chance of becoming a core memory is when it is formed. This combined with the facts that there is no evidence to the contrary, and that the memory in question was shown to be a regular memory earlier in the movie make what you said impossible.

     Which one's Fashion Island? 
  • When the emotions are admiring all of Riley's new Islands of Personality, we see that all of her old ones have been replaced, and they name off some of the new ones. Fear mentions Boy Band Island, which is presumably the one with the guitar and speakers. Sadness mentions Tragic Vampire Romance Island, which is likely the book-themed one. Disgust mentions Fashion Island...except neither of the two remaining islands fit the bill. One shows a cell phone tower, a connection strength indicator, some monitors, and a winky emoticon(Internet Island?). The other shows a globe, some books, and some chemistry glassware(Science/Education Island?). As it pans up to the islands, we can count nine core memories in the receptacle and nine onscreen islands, so Fashion Island can't be hidden offscreen. So what's Disgust referring to?
    • Officially, Pete Doctor tried to keep from showing the islands for greater humor and not knowing what it looks like, but thinking about it, it's possible that the cell phone tower island is fashion Island. Even if it's not a direct correlation, where do you think Riley's getting her fashion interest from? Internet, friends on the phone, etc. It's also possible that the islands were designed before the script was finalized, and they never got around to fixing it.
      • I feel like the latter's more likely; if there were meant to be unshown islands then why weren't there more than nine core memories in the receptacle when there are nine visible islands?
  • I've only seen this movie once before, but if I'm correct, you're saying there's nine islands onscreen, yet you only describe four - Boy Band, Vampire, Internet, and Science Island. Including the family/San Francisco Island makes five, so what about the other four?
    • I said her old ones—Friendship, Honesty, Goofball, and Hockey—have been replaced. Add that to the new Family Island plus the four new ones, that's nine.
    • Goofball was a fundamentally-childish island, so may have been supplanted by something a bit less infantile if Riley is on track to become a more serious-minded, disciplined person as a teenager. Possibly Education Island took its place, as a new-found commitment to academic pursuits wouldn't mesh well with being a complete goofball. That would leave one out of nine unaccounted for, which is where Fashion Island fits in.
      • Watch the scene again. The new Goofball Island is on the very far right; right next to Education Island, in fact. It looks a lot smaller(even smaller than Honesty Island—two to the left from Family—which was the smallest of her initial five), so you might be in the ballpark with Riley becoming more mature and less childishly silly(and it might even collapse naturally in the future for that reason), but it's there.

     Sexual Feelings in Dreams 
  • What can possibly be going on with the console and/or Dream Productions when one feels sexually aroused during a dream?
    • Probably a combination of the on-duty Emotion sitting there gazing at the screen with a love-struck look, as we saw in Riley's Mom's head during her helicopter-pilot daydream, and a lot of business in some yet-unseen part of the brain that deals with visceral impulses (hunger, thirst, sex drive, sleepiness) rather than conscious moods.

     Why did that memory become sad at the beginning? 
Why was the dinosaur and car memory turned sad anyways? The moment itself was funny for Riley. And it's not like she misses the drive specifically. Disgust was pretty clear she was getting tired of it. So why would she now feel sad thinking about dad making a parking mistake?
  • Riley is incredibly depressed and sad about being away from Minnesota, to the point where practically everything is making her unhappy. She's not sad about the discomfort of the journey or Dad making a parking mistake specifically; she's sad because no matter how funny that moment was at the time, it's now yet another thing that reminds her that she is now far away from Minnesota and everything she knew and loved.

     What would happen to Riley if she was without Joy and Sadness for a longer period than the one shown in the film? 
Would Riley have acted psychotic?
  • She would have gotten progressively more depressed, withdrawn and closed-off from the world.
  • I don't exactly get what that means. Can you explain it in detail? Like, would Riley be like "SHUT THE HECK UP!" everyday? Or would she be like Eeyore?
  • Basically, picture how she was with the 'greyed-out' console, only more so and for longer. That's (IMO at least) likely how she would have been had Joy and Sadness been away for longer. She would likely have become progressively more sullen, quiet, not really communicating with anyone around her unless she had to (and even then likely being terse and curt about it), lethargic and lacking in energy and enthusiasm, and basically all-round glum and moody. I doubt she would have experienced any psychosis, largely because it's relatively rare even in sufferers of clinical depression and, in the form of psychotic depression, usually goes along with other conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, which Riley didn't really demonstrate any signs of prior to that point.

     Why was the console replaced during the day? 
It's shown that the console was upgraded while Riley was on her way to a hockey match, which would presumably leave the emotions unable to influence Riley for however long it took. Wouldn't it have been wiser to do it at night when the worst consequence would be that Riley wouldn't dream(since the projector is shown to be built into the console) rather than during the day and leaving Riley emotionless?
  • Presumably the console wasn't switched off while it was upgraded and the emotions worked around the upgrades.
    • Maybe, though "Your new expanded console is up and running!" made it sound like the old one was taken out and replaced completely, rather than simply built upon. On top of the very different button configurations and even the different shape of the base, this feels more likely.
    • Maybe, but the simple fact that Riley apparently didn't suffer an emotional collapse while the console was being upgraded (otherwise someone would have probably mentioned something) suggests that it and the emotions were nevertheless presumably still functional in some way.
    • Assuming the old console was removed and replaced entirely, perhaps the major removing and replacing took place at night when she was sleeping, and the workers were just applying the final touches during waking hours.
    • Side note: the projector only allows the emotions to watch dreams. The dreams themselves are "filmed in front of a live audience" in the subconscious.

     Thoughts of Loneliness 
When Riley was "abstract thinking" about loneliness, what did this mean? Was she thinking of ideas to run away from home, or was she doing something else.
  • She was just musing / brooding on loneliness in general. Abstract thought isn't really about specifics or making plans, it's more thinking about the concepts themselves. She was in a new school, she didn't know anyone and didn't have any new friends yet, and was generally feeling isolated and apart from everyone. So, she was just thinking about what it meant to be alone (and presumably how miserable it was making her).
     No Emotion Poops 
Does Nobody Poops apply to the Emotions and Bing-Bong, or do they use bathrooms?
  • Maybe that's where shitty ideas come from?
    • Ba-dum-pssh!
     I Dream of Emotions 
Can Bing Bong sleep and if so, do he or the emotions dream and how does it work?
     Sad Island Questions 
Why would the sad core memory be created from Riley explaining about how she misses hockey? Why did she go off topic and talk about her friends and how they used to play tag? And what would've the island created from the sad memory looked like?
  • See Sad Personality Island.
  • I read that, but I don't understand why she would start crying a minute after her teacher offended her by telling her "It looks like we don't get as much snow as you do!" Why did her parents move to San Fransisco if they knew it would upset Riley?
  • She wasn't 'offended', she was homesick. That's why she got upset. Snow reminds her of Minnesota, and almost anything that reminds her of Minnesota will likely make her sad because she's not in Minnesota anymore. The teacher was just trying to make a light-hearted comment and didn't realize it would (partially) upset her. As for why her parents made the move to San Francisco, it's heavily implied that her father got a new job / was starting a new business which required them to move. Sometimes economic factors like that necessitate a family move, regardless of how upsetting it might be. They almost certainly didn't make the move lightly, but it was ultimately necessary.
  • On top of that, giving her parents the benefit of the doubt, they might not have realized how badly it would upset Riley. She's so optimistic and upbeat that they probably didn't stop and think how much this would shake her up. Joy's insistence on keeping this up after the move didn't help, since after seeing her still smiling they assumed their assumption that she had a strong enough spirit to handle it was right, leaving them confused when she did begin getting visibly upset.
     What's inside mom's head ? 
During the dinner scene, we catch a glimpse of the mom's mind. It seems that Mom's Sadness manages the Headquarters (the same way Riley's Joy manages hers). Random emotion cast or does it have a deeper meaning ?
  • I believe it's discussed above, but since in the movie Sadness is shown to also equal empathy, it could indicate that Mom's a very empathetic person. Certainly, she's the first to pick up that there's a problem with Riley.
     Rational mind? 
  • Why Riley didn't use her rational mind? Like, she should realise that she's uncabable of being happy anymore and can either feel anger or disgust? Or fear, yeah. So, why she didn't think, like: "Alright, something's wrong with me. I'm going to put my emotions into a cage and act like a machine for a while, until we'll find out what is going on". She would've feeled Anger, for example, but she'd just forced herself to not act like he wants, and use her judgement instead. She could've asked her mom and dad (who are great parents) about what's wrong with her, and get help from a shrink or whatever. The girl is not drugged, so her rational mind isn't clouded.
    • Because that's just not how human beings work. They're not machines that can just decide — at 11 years old — to shut off all their emotions and become a cold and calculating robot to solve their inner problems.
    • Then why can many people do this for some time? I assure you, they are human beings and not machines/robots.
    • That's exactly the sort of thing a machine and/or robot would say!
      Seriously, though, how many of them are 11-year-olds? People are not that good at self-diagnosing even as adults, and people do not immediately know they have to shut their own emotions off. We're emotional, temperamental creatures whose emotions often greatly outweigh the logical, rational brain, to the point that what you're asking simply does not make sense. What you're basically asking is, "Why doesn't she act the total opposite of how you'd expect a 11-year-old girl to act?"
    • I get it now. Her age is the obstacle. Yeah, you don't see many 11-year-old girls that can act like this.
    • It's a difference between individuals, too. I'm 28 and on medication because I just plain can't turn off my emotions or hold back my reactions. With the meds, I can just wait to react until I get to a room alone; I still can't just choose to "put my emotions into a cage". I'm sure I'm not alone in being incapable of not feeling.
     Why were Sadness, Joy, and Bing-Bong so Impatient on the Train? 
  • The three, Joy, Sadness, and Bing-Bong didn't need to be so impatient. They could have just awaited for the sleep to come to an end. Why did were they so hasty?
    • Because Joy and Sadness want to get home as quickly as possible, and Bing-Bong wants to help Joy and Sadness get home as quickly as possible.
     The Little Voices in My Head 
  • What would the emotions of someone with schizophrenia be like? On a related note, how would someone hearing voices in their head work?
    • For schizophrenia involving delusions, the visual delusions could be like Bing Bong and the purely auditory ones could be like that gum commecrial jingle stuck in your head. For the paranoid side, that would probably mean Fear is overactive or in a very important position, and they would be prone to lightbulbs of ideas being stuck in the console.
     Excuse me young lady, where are your parents? 
  • How is that nobody showed concern about this clearly prepubescent girl going all the way from San Francisco to Minnesota with any adult supervision? You'd think the bus driver would at least ask her if her parents knew, right?
    • Seeing as Honesty Island wasn't restored until after the sadness/joy hybrid memory was created, maybe she'd been lying about whether or not her parents knew.
    • It doesn't seem that unbelievable that she's coming home from a trip or going on one.
     Unconventional Headquarters 
Okay, so in Inside Out, there's a reccurring theme of dark=something's not right. When HQ is defective, the console turns black, the sky turns cloudy and Riley wears black, when memories are in the Dump, they turn brownish-grey, and in the merchandise book "What Should Riley Do?", it implied that storm clouds above the islands mean something is wrong with that personality trait (i.e. storm clouds above Hockey Island means Riley's making mistakes in hockey). But that made me wonder: what would it look like inside the mind of someone with rather unconventional tastes? Like if there was some goth who wore black on the regular but was also very positive? Or if someone's favourite colours were black or grey or if they were the kind of person who likes storms? Or imagine if someone had all three of those traits I mentioned. What would their mind look like?
  • Assuming it differs from person to person and isn't just a general thing (even a person who enjoys the rain would probably take shelter in a hurricane-level storm, and and something that's burnt out generally tends to look brownish-grey and faded regardless of whether the person likes that colour or not), I would guess that someone who loved the colour black might see their console gradually become pale and washed out, and someone who enjoyed storms and rainy weather might see their islands dry out and become brittle as if they were suffering a drought.
     Then came puberty, exponentially 
Dudes, the joke with the puberty button was asking for it. note But seriously, would (sexual) Lust be just an aspect of Joy and if yes, what would be going on in Headquarters? I apologize for my vivid imagination:
Riley, 18: Oh Gooooood!
Joy: Upsie. Was that me?
  • We know how sexual attraction works, partly. With the Brazilian Helicopter Pilot gag, we know that if a person is remembering someone they're sexually attracted to, nothing really happens except the emotions look at them lustfully. And with Jordan, at least, if he sees someone he's attracted to, an alarm goes off in his head, but I reckon that would be different for people who weren't insecure. As for orgasms, Fear wouldn't contribute unless the person was nervous of orgasms for some reason, and an orgasm wouldn't cause structural damage because structural damage in your mind is sort of the equivalent of psychological issues.
     Could have helped ourselves with this plot 
  • Joy and Sadness meet mind workers who they see sending up memories to Headquarters, just as Joy summoned them previously before they fell down to Long-term. One of the memories she summoned was specifically one of the core memories (of hockey island.) Couldn't have Joy and Sadness ask the workers to send the core memories up one by one to restore power to the personality islands (making it easier for Joy and Sadness to get back as this happened right before friendship island breaks down?)
    • Given how protective Joy is of the core memories, she probably doesn't want to risk the possibility, however remote, of anything happening to them if they're out of her sight and grasp.
    • Or only the memory that belongs on that spot on the shelf can be sent up to Headquarters - the one time this rule is disregarded is with the jingle from the gum commercial, which could be what makes it a distracting, unwanted, and super-annoying Ear Worm. If Joy had tried sending one of the core memories up using a shelf where it didn't belong, it may've had the unintended effect of annoying Riley instead of helping her. And did any of the emotions ever demonstrate the ability to grab hold of a memory that was being projected? Maybe the memory is locked in place once it's sent up, and once it's done playing it automatically gets sent back into storage.
     But Sadness is the One Who *Makes* Riley Need Help! 
  • Joy says that Sadness is useful because she lets people know that Riley needs help. But with injuries and stuff, Fear can do that, leaving only emotional help, and that's the kind of help that Sadness makes Riley need! It's like saying "Of course Nicole the clumsy lab assistant is useful, she lets us know when things get knocked over!" when she's the only person who knocks stuff over. The parents technically did "go over and help because of Sadness", but if it weren't for Sadness, she wouldn't have needed that help!
    • Sadness isn't the reason that Riley needs help. If anything, Joy was, for not letting Sadness do her job in the first place. Joy is the one who keeps Sadness from letting Riley express that she's feeling down. Joy is the one who keeps Riley from telling her parents that she's sad. Sadness didn't make those things happen to Riley.
      • But "feeling down" is a synonym for sadness. Riley wouldn't be sad if Sadness didn't exist.
      • Er, nope. Riley feeling down is because she misses her friends and home in Minnesota. Which is perfectly understandable. The problem starts when Joy refuses to let Riley express a completely normal emotion.
      • There comes a point where we need to accept that this is just a movie. Sadness isn't a little person who lives in your head - it's an emotion that's intrinsic to human nature, and the film's message is that trying to suppress it using happiness or other emotions will only make things worse for you and those closest to you. Whenever Sadness tried to touch one of the core memories, that represented Riley's desire to feel sad about the move. Joy stopping Sadness from doing so represented Riley's attempts to mask that sadness. The two of them being sucked away into long-term memory and eventually down into the memory dump symbolizes Riley forgetting how to feel happy or sad. The end result (everything turning gray and such) is that she doesn't even know what she's feeling, which is only resolved by the two of them returning to HQ so that Sadness can take charge and let her know what she's feeling is sadness.
    • Also, as shown when Sadness helped comfort Bing Bong, the feeling of sadness also ties into empathy, which is important for helping us connect to and help each other. It's not just good for ensuring you get the help you need, but also allows you to extend that same help to others.
     Floating on a cloud 
  • Why didn't Sadness use a cloud to return to headquarters immediately ?
    • The cloud didn't look like it would carry Sadness and Joy, and Sadness also considered it pretty important to get Joy back as well.
     Bing Bong's bag 
  • Why didn't Bing Bong's bag disappear with him when he was left in the memory dump?
    • Probably because Joy was holding them, and she's an Emotion, not a Memory, so she's much more resistant to the memory dump's effects.
    • Bing Bong never specifically says where he got the bag, only that it's imaginary. It could be that he picked it up in Imagination Land somewhere, rather than having already carried it when Riley dreamed up her imaginary friend.
      • None of the flashbacks of young Riley playing with him show him with the bag, so odds are he did get it elsewhere.
     Riley's bus ride 
  • What kind of bus company allows a kid to travel to another city alone without his/her parents' authorization?
    • One with automated ticket-dispensers, probably.
     Riley's absence from school 
  • For that matter, why didn't the teacher/school call the parents/police right after their child didn't show up for class?
    • Maybe the teacher assumed she was sick?
    • The fact they didn't call home is likely due to the fact she isn't on the attendance sheet yet, it being only her second day. Some schools don't update them until a full week later, so the new kids constantly had to remind the teacher their name wasn't called out.
    • Also in the US missing people aren't looked for until they have been gone 24 hours, because most of them come back of their own accord.
      • This is absolutely not true. Missing people in the US are looked for as soon as they're absent from a place where they are expected to be, especially when they're considered a vulnerable person. Like, for example, an 11-year-old girl in a city where she knows nobody. Also, it still doesn't explain why the school wouldn't have called Riley's home to see if her parents knew she wasn't at school.
      • Presumably the Andersens' landline phone number was changed by the move. Could be that one of her parents transposed a couple of the digits while filling out paperwork to register Riley for school, not being used to the new number. The school's query could be waiting in the voice mail of some complete stranger: one with a similar phone number, whose outgoing message to callers doesn't specify their name.
     Bus time of departure 
  • There is another problem. Between Riley leaving home and the bus leaving, at least ten hours seemed to pass. Where did she spend it with no one suspecting anything?
    • The bus station was pretty far from the Andersens' new house, and even assuming Riley has a bicycle it's probably still on its way from Texas in the moving van. She probably spent several hours walking there, maybe with a stop at some fast food place for a snack and potty break, before she got there, and a similar journey to get back around dusk. It only looked very late in the day when she boarded the bus because it was overcast.
      • It depends on what you count as far away. Riley's new house could be three or fewer miles away from the bus station, and anyone can walk that far in one go.
      • Riley's mother had not left for work yet and she told Riley to have a good day at school when Riley was heading out. Both parents were home from work and had the time to consult each other about Riley's whereabouts and call Riley's phone a couple of times by the time she returned. IIRC it was getting dark when Riley received the phone calls and she seemed to get home within a few minutes, or at most an hour or two.
      • It's sunset when Riley crosses the street to reach the station, so it was definitely dusk, not overcast, when she's about to board.
    • In the novelization, Fear directs her to stop at a library to do research on the dangers of a cross-country bus trip.
    • Depressed people also tend to move more slowly.
    • She may have had a long wait at the station that wasn't shown, as there probably aren't many daily departures from San Francisco that head towards Minnesota.
     Forgotten Fallen Friend 
  • Bing Bong is never mentioned again after he fades away. Might be a bit of Fridge Brilliance (or Fridge Horror) in that after he falls into the pit and fades away, Bing Bong is incapable of being remembered not only by Riley, but by the emotions as well.
    • Does this mean Joy will forget her promise to Bing Bong to take Riley to the moon?
     Emotions feeling emotions 
  • Although Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger are each meant to represent one of Riley's emotions, they also have their own emotional ranges. Joy can feel sadness, Fear can feel disgust, Anger can feel fear, and so on and so forth. Does this mean that each emotion has their own mental control center, populated by their own range of emotions? And do those emotions have their own emotional ranges that are controlled by their own mental control centers? How deep does this go?
    • It fits the film's theme on emotions being both good and bad. Fear snarking what he considers to be Faux Horrific shows that fear allows people recognize what to be afraid of and what not to be, while Anger being afraid can be taken as a form of regret (someone being angry at themselves for a dumb decision).
      • That, and the emotions don't have to be one-note; that they aren't shows that Riley is healthy. Fear isn't afraid when he's seen enough to know there's nothing to be afraid of, so Riley isn't needlessly anxious, and Anger is capable of reconsidering rash decisions, so that Riley isn't needlessly obstinate and bullheaded.
    • Another possibility is that each 'emotion' is a sentient construct who primarily feels and exudes their own assigned emotion, but is also capable of feeling the other emotions. However, these other feelings are created and fueled by the other respective emotions, and feeling them requires interaction and collaboration between emotions. This is why Joy, Disgust, Anger, and Fear seemed to get along well; they regularly collaborated and understood each other, and they also regularly displayed traits of the other emotions. Joy, for instance, displayed frustration and disgust at certain events, and Anger showed joy at certain prospects, such as curse words. Sadness, however, was largely ostracized and misunderstood, and thus they couldn't really feel sadness as well. It was only after a long journey with Sadness that Joy could really feel and understand Sadness. As a result, the emotions, able to understand each other, can collaborate more efficiently, and understand what is best for Riley.
      • It helps to remember that the emotions aren't like three-dimensional human characters. They're most themselves when there's a reason for Riley to feel the emotion concerned. Joy has to be happy, and when she winds up in the memory dump and there is literally nothing that can make her happy ever again, she completely breaks down; when Sadness is sad, she's so sad that a minor setback has the power to make her fall on her face on the ground, etc. If there's no reason for Riley to feel an emotion, the emotion concerned wanders away from the console; Fear, Anger and Disgust do this more often than Joy or Sadness, and because the emotion itself isn't engaged, the emotion character comes across as uninterested in whatever's going on.note  The reason why Joy almost always stays at the console is that, Riley's life being normally a good one, Joy gets to do most of the work and so considers herself the boss. She is naturally exuberant because she is what she is, so she's always the one looking to be in control, whereas Sadness is naturally passive and doormat-ish because she's sad, and as a result she never asserts herself enough to be the one in control. The one thing all the emotions have in common is that they want what's best for Riley, but what Joy painfully learns is not how to be sad, but how to recognise when her particular skills aren't needed.note  When Sadness, at Joy's urging, finally takes the controls, she doesn't exactly look triumphant. She gives Joy a grateful look, but as she takes control of Riley she just looks quietly confident, because at last she knows she's needed but she also knows it's going to be painful. And when her efforts are successful, in that Riley breaks down and admits how unhappy she is and her parents don't get angry, as Riley feared they would, but give her a hug, then and only then does Sadness look genuinely pleased, like a surgeon who's just pulled off a tricky operation.
     Knowledge of puberty 
  • The emotions not knowing about puberty in the final scene. They know everything that Riley knows; surely a twelve-year-old would have heard of puberty.
    • Fridge Brilliance — Riley's heard the word but doesn't really know what it means yet. In any case, twelve isn't an inconceivably late age for a child to only just be learning about puberty (on average most girls enter it around 10-11 and menstruation doesn't usually begin until 12-13), so assuming her parents haven't had The Talk yet and she hasn't yet had sex-ed classes, it's not inconceivable that she wouldn't have full knowledge of what it was yet. Perhaps a bit on the late side, but not unreasonably so. I seem to remember I was probably around that age when I first learned what it was. In any case, Rule of Funny; it's just a joke.
    • Riley doesn't have any younger siblings, and many children first receive The Talk when there's a little sister or brother on the way. Riley's parents may just not have worked up the nerve to go into details yet.
    • There's knowing that there's such a thing as puberty, and there's having had The Talk about it...and then there's the experience of it. Between the second and third, the learning curve suddenly gets waaaaaaaay steeper. The button presumably turns on Riley's Puberty Mode, giving her hormones full access to her emotions. (Which could presumably be dramatised as the emotions fighting off an attack by robots.)
    • The emotions also seem to be blinkered (so to speak) by their own natures/perspectives: Joy didn't recall the sad aspects of the twisty tree memory until her experience of the memory dump, so it seems like the emotions focus on the aspect of an event/memory that's in tune with their own natures, and overlook or forget aspects that aren't. Even though Riley's most likely heard the basic information about puberty, Joy probably couldn't see any joyful aspects of it, so she'd put it aside and forget it. As for Disgust not remembering, that is more of a stretch; so, yes, Rule of Funny.
     How to differentiate when your host is named Joy? 
  • There are actually people named Joy. It probably gets pretty confusing in their Headquarters.
    • Or their Joys might simply call themselves Delight for convenience.
     The color of broccoli 
  • When broccoli rears its ugly head, Disgust says, "That is not brightly-colored or shaped like a dinosaur—" Maybe it's just me, but I would say broccoli is brightly-colored.
    • The stems, maybe, but the florets are dark green. Certainly it's not the sort of brilliant hue that a toddler's Disgust would be screening for.

     The Consequence 
  • What will happen if Joy and Sadness never returned to the Headquarters so Riley will be depressed forever and run away for good, what would she have become?
    • There are between 1.6-2.8 million youth runaways each year in the United States. She would have faded into that statistic wandering the streets alone and depressed, her story essentially over.

     No Antagonist 
  • Why is Pixar did not want a villain into this film because Disney likes making villains in his movies so the fans would love and root for them?
    • There are many different ways to tell a story. Some involve villains others do not. Pixar crafted a story that did not require an antagonist because it fit the story they wanted to tell. The question includes a pothole to No Antagonist which already goes into more detail on why one crafts a story without an antagonist so there's no reason for further discussion here, simply refer to that page.
    • To be picky, the film technically does have an antagonist. An antagonist is simply a force that acts in opposition to a protagonist to try and prevent them from getting what they want, which in this case is simply Riley's homesickness and depression. While the film doesn't have a villain, and a villain is usually an antagonist, the two aren't necessarily the same. Also, FWIW I think it's usually less the fact that Disney want the fans of their movies to root for the villain, and more that some fans do it anyway for some reason.


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