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Memories and Personality Islands

     What Happened to Riley's old Core Memories? 
  • At the end of Inside Out, we get to see Riley's New Core Memories, but what happened to the old ones? Long Term storage? Straight to The Memory Dump?
    • As Riley gains new Core Memories, the old ones become ordinary memories like all the other ones, so they're probably in Long Term storage somewhere.

    Sad Personality Island 
  • Why would the sad core memory be created from Riley explaining about how she misses hockey? Did the first sad core memory ever run a Personality Island? It was 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 go?
    • The core memory represented her life being uprooted. We never found out what happened to it, but given the context it was formed (Riley remembering her life in Minnesota) the idea it powered an entire island based around how much Riley missed her life in Minnesota seems unlikely. To go into WMG territory a bit, however, 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. The new Hockey Island has a red+yellow core memory instead of the old plain yellow, so the old ones were probably ditched.
    • 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.
    • It might start off as 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 mutates into a 'Dealing with bad stuff' / 'Being more open with your feelings' island and make her more psychologically durable, or simply fade away.

    Third Person Memories 
  • Why are all of Riley's memories in the third person?
    • Memories aren't recordings as much as your mind recreating events. Depending on how connected you feel about the theme of a memory and how much you connect with the you in that memory, it can appear in first or third person. That being said, some people are just predisposed to having their memories in third person (as a quick search on Google shows).

    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?
    • 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.

    Memorable Rocket 
  • So Bing-Bong went to the memory dump and was erased from Riley's memory but the rocket went back from there, does it mean that Riley will still remembers 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.

    Late Family 
  • Why isn't the core memory for Family Island the moment when Riley was born? Her family was with her during that moment.
    • Core memories are defining moments of a person's life, so 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. Presumably, Riley's birth is without question a Core Memory for her parents.

     Why is Riley's Family Island powered by a core memory of her baking cookies? 
  • Why that one moment?
    • Some seemingly innocuous event can be more significant for one person than it is for another. It's less the first time she understood what 'family' means as much as it is the first memory she has understanding what it truly meant to be part of a family for her. To make it more obvious, consider love - you can spend ages reading the definition and biochemistry, but it will never be the same as experiencing it.
    • It may have been the first time Riley acknowledged being a contributing member of the family, as opposed to her being a one-way recipient of parental attention. For the first time, she was doing something to please her parents, not just the other way around.

     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.

     Hello Credit Card, Goodbye Honesty Island 
  • 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.

     Honesty Hammer 
  • In the Honesty Island Core Memory, what was Riley doing by breaking a plate with a hammer?
    • Kids often break stuff because they feel like it. Frankly, if you didn't have to pay for damages, haven't you ever had the urge to just smash something to pieces?
    • 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.

     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 was sad. 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.
    • The earlier memory started out sad but ended up happy, the latter of which ended up dominating. Makes perfect sense really: kids would likely classify memories with a single emotion word, while adults lean to express them with more detail and nuance

     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 with new core memories, and they name off some of the new ones. Fear mentions Boy Band Island, which is presumably the one with the guitar, the stage, 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 (Social Media Island?). The other shows a globe, some books, and some chemistry glassware (Science/Education Island?). 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?
    • It's possible that the cell phone tower island is Fashion Island - Disgust was looking in that direction when she said that, and we know that one is Hockey Island while the other is Honestly Island, with the third established as likely Boy Band 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.
    • As Riley's mind becomes more sophisticated, so do the Emotions' minds. It's possible that they've matured enough to each have "pet names" for specific Islands, e.g. Sadness might call Fiction Island "Tragic Vampire Romance Island" because that's the kind of fiction she relates to.

How emotions work

     Colors of Joy 
  • Why does Joy glow a blue hue if she's yellow?
    • 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.
    • 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.

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Joy is the oldest emotion, albeit only by seconds. If you want a Watsonian explanation for her being more than one color, one could argue that her initial manifestation was that of emotionality itself - the capacity to feel happy, sad, and everything in between - and her persona only crystalized as "Joy" when Riley's first experienced feeling turned out to be happiness.

    Other Emotions 
  • What would repressed memories look like? A locked cage? What would paranoia look like? Fear growing so large and grotesque, he literally crushes the other Emotions?
    • A repressed memory would probably be locked up in the Subconscious prison, same as the Worst Fears were.

    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.
    • The whole point of the movie is that emotions are neither positive nor negative, all of them have their function and excess of Joy can also be harmful. Most positive emotions would fall under the general heading of "Joy", but Fear, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust are all distinct from one another. Part of the issue is also English not having better terms for the broad emotion that's covered by, say, 'Anger', such as indignation when you see someone treated unfairly, or competitiveness in a match.
      If you think about it, Joy is a much stronger emotion than the other ones, as while you can pair off two of the Emotions and get another one (such as Anger and Sadness making Resentment), you need at least two of the others to counter Joy (Anger, Sadness, and Joy making Bittersweet). It's also why Love is not a character (though it's often requested) because Love isn't an emotion, it's a cause of emotion.

    Where Do Emotions Come From? 
  • Do new emotions get "born" as people grow up? At puberty, does Lust - or, more delicately, Desire -join the cast?
    • The film seems to be based on the psychological model where there are a handful of basic emotions that form early on and then persist throughout the lifespan, gaining nuance and complexity as one grows older. As seen by Riley's parents' emotions adults possess the same five. So love and desire would likely be covered by Joy.

    Yellow-Bellied Coward 
  • Why isn't Fear yellow? Did they think it was too obvious or what?
    • Cowardice is only a (very small) subset of Fear. If anything it's actually inobvious - being a warm color it's nowadays more associated with Joy than the kind-of-fallen-out-of-use phrase.

    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). Alternatively, since Riley was still a child, her emotions weren't "hers" yet and were more what she had inherited from her parents. With time, maybe, she also will have emotions adequate to her own basic template.
    • Alternatively, they could represent a tomboyish personality, or that Riley is non-binary or genderfluid. She was wearing a rainbow sweater...
    • 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 isn't just about not eating your broccoli; she's a broad avoidance-impulse for anything that's unpleasant.

     Sadness' Role 
  • So Riley's Emotions "don't know what Sadness's role is". ... how come? 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?
    • Joy never really understood why Sadness was important. Fear keeps Riley safe, Anger makes sure things are fair, and Disgust keeps her from being poisoned (physically or socially), while Sadness just seems to make Riley cry, because Sadness's purpose is to help with emotional healing after something terrible happens, and Riley simply hasn't had anything truly bad happen to her up until now. It makes sense, since most kids' experience with Sadness would be from pain, being left out, or not getting what they want, which is very different from reminiscence or longing.
    • It's also worth noting Sadness legitimately can seem a bit of The Load at times. Consider the scene when Joy and Sadness have found themselves lost inside Long-Term Memory, where Sadness's immediate reaction is to cry and mope and require Joy to drag her around. Joy's not entirely wrong to point out that this isn't really a very useful or helpful response to the situation.

  • 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.
    • The emotions seem to only experience other emotions in extreme circumstances (Joy only becomes truly sad in a seemingly truly hopeless situation) or have their own twisted versions of the emotions (Sadness finds a dying dog happy, and Fear's Joy comes from ending the day when there's no more work to do). 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.
    • It might be a sort of hive mind. 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.

     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's too similar to Fear?
    • Disgust encompasses concepts like revulsion and rejection, which Fear doesn't include.
    • Disgust's reaction to triggering stimuli is also the exact opposite of Fear's: he makes Riley retreat from what's threatening, whereas Disgust makes her verbally attack what's repellant.

    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?
    • Considering that Riley's joy came into being after Riley was born, no. After all, in-utero humans only need certain basic functions.

     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.
    • 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.
    • Abstract and symbolic concepts are distinctly human phenomena, so having their emotions manifest as caricatures wouldn't have any neurological basis. A dog or cat wouldn't have any notion that Anger "should be" short and squat, for example.

    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!).
    • Certain very basic responses, like Disgust rejecting bitter flavors or Sadness making baby Riley cry when she's cold and wet, were likely pre-programmed into her Emotions from the beginning. Their respective repertoires then expanded through learning and positive/negative reinforcement.

  • 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.
    • It's possible the Emotions are aromantic by default. They can love their human like family or a friend, but cannot fall in love with them romantically.
    • To judge by how Riley's parents' Emotions react at the end, they're attracted to the other parent, not the one they occupy. Most likely, it's natural for an Emotion's romantic inclination to be wholly and benignly voyeuristic / secondhand.

    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?

     Are emotions aware of the existence of emotions in other people's heads? 
  • During the dinner table scene, in which we see three different sets of emotions indirectly communicating with one another. It's 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?
    • Can't see a reason why the respective emotions in everyone's heads would believe their host is the only one with that setup, but empathy and insight into the emotional states of others seem to be Sadness's thing and Sadness is heavily suppressed in Riley. Besides, the emotions act more as guides than pilots, so what could they really do with that emotion?

     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.

    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?
    • Some possibilities:
Joy + Sadness - Ambivalence, Wistfulness, or Bittersweetness
Joy + Fear - Suspense
Joy + Anger - Hot Bloodedness or Competitiveness
Joy + Disgust - Guilty pleasure
Sadness + Fear - Nervousness, or Uneasy
Sadness + Anger - Bitterness
Sadness + Disgust - Shame or Guilt
Fear + Anger - Determination
Fear + Disgust - Revulsion
Anger + Disgust - Regret or Irritation

     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.
    • Presumably if they started out as physical infants, they wouldn't be able to operate the console.

     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.
    • 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. However, it's likely that they 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.

     What happens to your emotions when you die? 
  • Do the emotions panic? Does headquarters suffer breakdown/destabilization?
    • Your emotions are your thoughts. You can't think while you're dead (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.
    • It may depend on the circumstance of the death. For a really sudden death, they may not have time to react, or be too stunned to do anything more than gawp. For an accident or violence, Fear and/or Anger would be going nuts. For a premature, but slow-in-coming death, like from a nasty illness, Fear, Anger, Sadness and Disgust would all have their turns to act out. For a peaceful death from old age after a long, satisfying life, all five might say a few words about a job well done, review their favorite memories, bid a fond farewell to their beloved person, and quietly hold one another as the Headquarters shuts down and the lights go out.

    Anger's role? 
  • So Joy doesn't appreciate Sadness nor understand her purpose. But can't you say the same thing for Anger? He supposedly "keeps things fair", but he never once did anything useful. 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.
    • Anger 'keeps things fair' means he allows Riley to stand up for herself, and presumably we just never got to see those memories. Note 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. Most of the problems he caused during the the film is because Joy isn't around to act as a balancing force, symbolising how Riley's Anger gets out of control during her emotional problems.

    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 that Joy is narrating. What if that scene was some form of Artistic License by Joy, who filled in details based on her own experience? The actual scene might simply have been Joy and Sadness staring at each other and communicating wordlessly.
    • Communication is what the nervous system is all about. Language is only needed to contact other brains in the world outside; it's not how the brain sends messages within itself.

Riley's emotions

     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.
    • Sadness is an emotion involved with catharsis, 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. So it's not as much Sadness likes sad things, but more that she likes things that get emotions out and ultimately makes Riley feels better. (And on a meta level, 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.)

  • Why does Fear even need a censor bleep?
    • He doesn't, he hit a button that happened to make a bleep sound.
    • 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.

    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?
    • They have an amount of respect for her, but it's hard to say 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.

     Joy had to have known when to let Sadness take over... right? 
  • 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 far from 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. The events of the movie are more for Joy realising her attempts to minimize the amount of time Sadness is at the controls is not a good thing.
    • Moreover, what made Joy upset wasn't just that Sadness was having an influence, but that she was making memories that had previously been happy turn sad. Joy hadn't grasped that it's appropriate for Riley's recollections of happy experiences in Minnesota to become saddening, now that Riley can't relive them anymore. If Riley had suffered some all-new setback, like a scraped knee, Joy wouldn't have minded so much, because it'd be a new memory rather than an alteration to an old one.

  • 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?
    • The initial pain and confusion would be frightening at first, but overall people generally don't mope about even in the case of large injuries, they simply carry on and adapt to the situation. Worth noting, since Riley plays hockey, she would more likely feel angry and frustrated over not being able to play than downright sad about it.

     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 business 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.

Riley's emotions during the plot

    Memory Corruption 
  • 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. If Riley was attacked by a dog and developed cynophobia, for instance, Fear might be able to color every memory Riley had of interacting with dogs.
    • 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.
      • 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.

    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's 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.
  • 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?
  • The tube jammed with memory globes when Fear tried to use it, hence why it spat him back. 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.
  • It's also symbolic rather than physical. Riley was embarrassed about crying at school, so Sadness was sucked up because Riley didn't want to be sad and was repressing her sadness. Unfortunately that meant Joy got lost too, since joy and sadness are too sides of the same coin. One side can't exist without the other. Fear, on the other hand, couldn't be sucked up because Riley couldn't repress that emotion. Fear attempting to quite could represent Riley attempting to repress her fear, but failing.

    Spread the Sadness 
  • Why is Sadness able to turn so many memories sad? Sadness turns the core memories sad because they became longing for home now after the move. 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?
    • Most of them would be from Minnesota, so all of them would've reminded Riley of home and made her sad. "Tripledent gum! I remember that being so nice when I first heard it... back home..."

     Why was Anger put in charge of Riley's daydreams during the first day of school? 
  • It makes sense 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.

    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 is rather self-fixated and blinkered when it comes to Sadness. 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." and 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.

Riley, Bing Bong, and other characters

    Unhelpful Mindworkers 
  • 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.
    • 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, Riley's emotionally unbalanced, but 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. (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.)
    • Fridge Brillinace - you can't control what you forget or what becomes an Ear Worm because you feel happy or angry at them, so the emotions are equally helpless. The only real way Joy managed to interact with the staff was to make a bunch of trouble.
    • Some of the staff's work necessarily requires a certain degree of callousness, such as tearing apart old settings from Imaginationland or crafting nightmares. They aren't cruel, but the workers' responsibilities are such that they can't afford to be all that soft-hearted, either.
  • The staff did eventually get off their butts and save Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong from falling into the Memory Dump with the Train of Thought, though. What about that?
    • 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.

    Bing-Bong the Thief? 
  • When we first see Bing Bong, he's stealing memories off the shelf and dumping them in his bag. It's never revisited - 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?
    • 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.

    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 altogether and already way overdue for deletion. Riley also probably based the 'rocket' on an actual cart that she once owned and used to play with; one'd imagine you'd find it easier to remember, subconsciously at least, a tangible, physical object like a cart than a completely imaginary construct.
    • Riley may not remember playing with it, but she might still have memories of stumbling across her old toy wagon in the garage while packing for the trip from Minnesota.
    • It was broken when they got out. Who's to say it's not gone forever?

     Why is Jangles considered evil? 
  • He was created from Riley's coulrophobia, but that's not his fault! He doesn't even do anything remotely malicious in the entire movie, he just thought there was a birthday party going on and wanted in on it.
    • Nowhere the movie does claim he's evil, just that Riley considers him a negative memory. If he was, then with the same logic Riley considered the stairs to the basement or Grandma's vacuum cleaner evil too. He's only antagonistic in the sense that Bruce the shark or Emperor Zurg are, just doing what they're programmed to.

     So, does Jangles have free roam around the Subconscious? 
  • 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?

    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??
    • We don't really see a lot of Riley's parents' emotional control centres to begin with; only a short scene inside their heads for a few minutes at most. They might indeed have mixed memory orbs present, we just never got to see them.
      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 might even be the opposite. 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.

    Scary Broccoli 
  • Why is broccoli, of all things, one of Riley's biggest fears? They might be unpleasant, but straight up scary?
    • 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.
    • When exactly is broccoli actually considered "scary" or "one of Riley's greatest fears"? It was found in her subconscious, and while it's true the other things in her subconscious are Riley's fears it doesn't mean everything in there is - after all, the subconscious is just where we bury unpleasant memories.

    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 also part elephant.

     Are two of Mr. Andersen's emotions female? 
  • In the promo for 'Riley's First Date,' 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.

    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. Bing Bong knew his time had come, and he knows Riley needs Joy back more than him, so he was happy to see his trick to lighten the rocket wagon work.

     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. With this in mind, wouldn't Fear be a better first emotion than Joy?
    • 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.
      The human brain doesn't really form memories until several weeks after birth anyway. And, given that it notably happened while she was wrapped up warm in her mother's arms with her parents gazing down adoringly at her, it was almost certainly the first moment she properly recognised these two massive things as "Mommy" and "Daddy". And it's a happy memory because she recognises them as the ones that are feeding, protecting and generally taking care of her, so she feels safe with them.

    Bing Bong's hobo outfit 
  • Understandable 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 run down 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?
    • 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).
    • If so, then why does it take Joy longer to recognize him than it does Fear when Joy would have been in control a lot more?
      • It didn't take that long for Joy to recognize him, considering in their first encounter Bing Bong was far away and partially hidden in shadow, followed by a chase scene. Joy was likely distracted from concern how to get back to HQ.
      • Fear may simply have a better memory than Joy or Sadness do. Experiences that make us afraid are, and should be, quite easily remembered, to ensure we'll avoid similar circumstances in future.

     Regarding Phone Numbers 
  • Riley, given she is 11, means she likely was born in 2005 and grew up in the age of smartphones. Why would she have memorized phone numbers?
    • Riley'd probably remember her own number, since she'd have to hand them out to friends or for a pizza order. It never hurts to have your parents' numbers for emergency contact, either. Ultimately, it's 7 digits, hardly overly taxing on someone's memory. If people can remember 3.141592654 after hearing it only a few times, a number isn't too out of the question.
    • Memorizing their parents' phone number(s) is a basic safety lesson for any child, especially when they're not old enough for a smartphone yet or don't always remember to charge theirs.

     I Dream of Emotions 
  • Can Bing Bong sleep and if so, do he or the emotions dream and how does it work?
    • Without further information from the film itself or Word of God there's no real way of providing a definite answer to this one. But since Bing-Bong is a figment of a little girl's imagination rather than a sentient being in his own right then, if we presume he does sleep for the purposes of argument, then it's likely his dreams are connected to Riley's in some way. Presumably they all enjoy various features from Dream Studios while they rest.

     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 ?
  • 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.

Other plot headscratchers

     Out of sync timelines 
  • The timeline of events following Joy and Sadness really doesn't seem to match up with the timeline 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; from the point where they 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.
    • 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. Joy and Sadness probably spent a lot of time wandering around among the memory-stacks.

     The Bag of Weightlessness 
  • Why didn't Bing Bong jump into the bag? The bag's weight is constant regardless of contents. 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. In fact, Bing Bong probably would've faded away eventually even if he did make it out. He made his peace with the fact that his time as part of Riley's life was done.
    • He also 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.

  • 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.
    • 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 also 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.
      • Case in point: Joy recalls the formation of Riley's very first memory, recounting it at the beginning of the movie. It's a safe bet that Riley doesn't remember being cuddled by her parents as a blanket-wrapped newborn.
    • Joy did promise Bing-Bong that she would take Riley to the moon, but that was never mentioned again, so Joy might have forgotten about Bing Bong after all, it just took a few minutes to fully fade from her memory.

    Handy Recall Tube 
  • When seeing how the Triple Dent Gum Commercial gets sent to Riley's mind, why didn't Joy attempt to use the Recall to send the Core Memories back?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Perhaps the Recall is only best used for the memories they're meant for. When the mindworkers send up the jingle 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 ('Why am I remembering this now?').

    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.

    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.
    • 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.

     Few Ways Back Home 
  • Why are there only so many routes to the Emotions' headquarters?
    • There was actually only one route - the Train of Thought. The others were all improvised. The connections between HQ and the Islands weren't meant to be walked on.

     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 owns 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 that quick - the scene in question 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?

     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?
    • Before 2015 the code wasn't needed, and it still isn't needed today for certain transactions, notably, ones made online, and Riley was looking up the bus route online. Besides, Riley's been an honest girl up until then. Maybe her mother has trusted her with the card and code number in the past.
    • You mean the code printed on the back of the card?

     Why was Bing Bong on the train to the Headquarters? 
  • It makes sense 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 - heck, Joy and Sadness don't even seem to care that he's apparently going to Headquarters with them.
    • 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. And finally, 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.

     She didn't see her? 
  • The scene where Riley steals her mother's credit card really confuses me - how did Riley's mom not spot Riley, right in front of her?
    • 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.

    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 
  • Riley's parents think she's going off to school when in reality she's planning on taking a bus 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. It shouldn't take 6+ hours to walk to a bus station, especially when it seems like Riley managed to get home in a few minutes after Sadness got her out of her depression.
    • 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.

    Mrs. Anderson? Riley's not at school. 
  • Shouldn't Riley's school have contacted her parents when she never showed up?
    • 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 noticed her absence or didn't think anything of it because she was brand new.
    • The Andersons have also just moved in, so the school might not know Riley's parents' phone numbers (or it got tangled up by that moving company).
    • Getting sick shortly after a move is pretty common, especially for kids. Suddenly you're surrounded by people who could be carrying germs that weren't abundant in the area you've left.

    Imaginary Dump 

     Scared of Your Imaginary Friend? 
  • Bing Bong got sent to the Subconscious 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. It's just that most things in the subconscious are Riley's fears, because, well, by nature phobias aren't very useful.

     An Old Friend Who Can Help 
  • Why didn't Riley use Bing Bong to help her get through the moving experience?
    • 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. Plus, even if she did, there's really only so much Bing Bong can do - he won't be able to help with Riley losing all her friends, for example.

    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. Why didn'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?
    • FWIW that did happen for a tiny bit. It's 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 need 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.

  • Regarding the same scene, why did the memories Sadness touch became instantaneously blue, when at other times it's more of a ripple effect?
    • 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, where did that welding mask come from?
    • Throughout the film, emotions seem to be able to pull things directly out of hammerspace. After all, 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.
      • 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. Perhaps Anger turning into a blowtorch is a common occurrence at HQ, and Disgust just keeps the mask on her at all times in case.
      • Or, maybe it's the power of creativity and imagination. 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.
    • Clothing-selection is Disgust's department. The welding mask qualifies as "clothes".

     What causes Riley to snap out of it? 
  • So the whole movie is a sort of "Just So" Story - Ear Worms for example are because the mind workers are having a laugh, when in reality it's due to [complicated reasons involving external stimuli triggering a subconscious association as well as how the brain stores and recalls information]. If so, when Sadness unplucks the 'run away from home' idea bulb from Riley, what is that supposed to stand for in Real Life? 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.
    • Well, given how mysterious the human brain is it's hard to give a properly satisfying answer, but ever had an idea you thought was good, but kept thinking about it 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.
      As well as this, her depression at this point is relatively speaking a mild case based on her current circumstances, meaning that her emotional recovery is likely to be quicker.
  • Word of God said the emotions (as well as everything else in Riley's mind) are in another dimension that's linked to Riley. So 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?
    • They were given the wrong delivery address?
    • During the scene where Riley steals her mom's credit card, Riley's mom is actually on the phone talking about this one, and the excuse the moving company made was something along the lines of the truck serving multiple customers.
    • There's not that many paths west to CA if you stick to major roads (which a truck likely would have to, due to restrictions and all): Maybe they vetoed I-90 and I-70 because they were too mountainous, and if the I-80 got buried in a snowstorm the only option left is the I-40 through Texas.

     The blue Core Memory SPOILERS 
  • 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.

     Implied Failsafe Failure 
  • Joy and Sadness got sucked into the tube because it doesn't reach the ground. How come it did when used as intended (to suck up short term memories to be sorted into long-term memory storage after Riley goes to sleep), and when Fear tries to use it to leave?
    • Joy was so desperate to send the blue core memory away that she sent it up before the tube had finished fully lowering. There is probably another function that detects if memories had passed through the chute and Joy/Sadness triggered it, ending the transfer system abruptly (if the two hadn't been fighting it likely would've lowered down like it should).

     Greeting Manners 
  • Joy and Bing Bong fall in the memory dump because Riley forgot to say goodbye to her parents. 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.

     Missing Core Memory 
  • When Sadness is projecting all of Riley's old core memories at the resolution, 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?

     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.

     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.

Other worldbuilding details

     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?
    • The control centre is likely located frontmost, and the screen they watch events and memories through is essentially seeing the world through Riley's eyes.

    Senses other than sight and hearing 
  • Throughout the entire movie we see the emotions reacting to what Riley sees and hears. What about 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 showerless 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?
    • It's not often shown but the emotions are aware of the other senses; 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.

     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?
    • What's wrong with that? He's imaginary, after all. (Insert that DuckTales (2017) GIF of Captain Penumbra being really confused when Dewey and Webby feed ducks here.)

     Alarm vs Button 
  • So, the Puberty thing on the console. Is it an alarm, or is it a button?
  • An alarm makes a lot more sense. Puberty isn't triggered by a psychological process like emotions, and besides, if it was a button, what would it even do?

     Which Twin Is Which? 
  • For parents with identical twins, what goes on in them vs their emotions when they confuse one of them for the other one in this universe?
    • Doubtful 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 Disgust as much time as baby Riley to recognize broccoli.

     About the puberty indicator. 
  • 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; the whole control console seems to be in random colors.


    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?
    • It would depend on the person and their beliefs. Going with the 'jumping on a grenade' example, with intent to protect someone else, it might be a mixture of Sadness and Anger, the former the part of them going 'This is probably going to get me killed.' and the latter going 'But I'm going to do it anyway, because my friends don't deserve to die'. Fear has either been shoved off his chair by Anger or held back by Disgust so he can't interfere (because shame is self-disgust, and shame of cowardice is overriding fear of death).

    Biological Drive 
  • 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.
    • An important thing to know is that to be hungry and want food, you need to have dopamine otherwise 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.
    • Hunger is probably a kind of "maintenance" alert for the emotions. A light on the consoles turns on to alert everyone that Riley's hungry, so they're on standby to suggest what Riley should eat from what's available.

    Lucid Dream Movie 
  • How would lucid dreaming work?
    • Maybe the control station shuts down?
    • In the dream studio it's shown 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 take over for the director. Although that does raise the question about the filter put on the camera.
    • 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 improv to fill in the blanks.

     What if someone fell into a coma? 
  • Would parts of Headquarters and everywhere else in the Mind World shut down?
    • Either everything does shut down, or Dream World goes into overtime.

     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"?
    • Suicide tends to come from a place of deep depression. The scenario would likely play out similarly 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.
    • 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 (possibly not knowing what it would do; the emotions don't seem to have full knowledge or control over Riley's thoughts).

     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?
    • One 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".
      Either that, or the command console and the emotions would all have the same jobs and uses, but the wiring for the control panel and layout of memories is non standard. (Most) autistic people have plenty of emotion. An analogy would be like how most people use Windows and Mac, but a small minority operate on Linux. It works just fine on its own, but it's still different enough that problems arise when it comes to interpreting with the Windows and Mac users.
    • Autism or Aspergers often comes with conditions such as anxiety - and in that case, Fear and Disgust would be the dominant emotion. Sometimes Autistic people have emotional meltdowns, but they don't ever stop feeling emotions, in which case perhaps the control panel is very sensitive to the senses and overloads easily.
    • Or, the emotions are also autistic; 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.

  • How would the inner mind and emotions of someone with Alzheimer's go about their day-to-day life? It's difficult to tell what people with Alzheimer's are thinking or feeling...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. 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.

  • 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. 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 throw out the idea of 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, it would probably 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.

     What happens if emotions date? 
  • Got to ask... if the emotions become intimate, what 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.
    • Perhaps that's what causes intrusive thoughts. 'Where did that idea come from?'

     Imaginary Insanity 
  • If Riley kept Bing Bong, would she be sent to the mental hospital? How would the doctors try to get rid of Bing Bong?
    • Depends how much Bing Bong is in Riley's life. If she understands that he's fictional but just kept him around for someone to talk to or brainstorm / piggyback ideas (like some do with rubber ducks) then there's no harm in it. If not, Riley would just have a few therapy sessions with a counselor, to understand why Riley still treasures Bing Bong and try to help Riley make friends with kids her age, so that she'd form real relationships and not ostracize herself.

     Uncontrollable laughter 
  • What would be happening in someone's Headquarters when they burst out into uncontrollable 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 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.
    • Seizures are terrifying when experienced consciously. Fear would be at the controls, although he couldn't send any commands to influence how the person's muscles respond.

     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 empathetic link, giving insight into the person's emotions, it would probably be the two sets of emotions directly talking (think Star Trek style viewscreen). 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.

     Moving back 
  • 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?
    • Clinical depression is caused by physical stimuli, i.e. chemical imbalances in the brain analogous to Joy and Sadness being absent from headquarters. What Riley goes through might not be quite the same thing, but simply moving back to Minnesota may not have solved all of Riley's problems as her depression had already taken hold.

  • What would happen to the Mind World if somebody got impaled through the brain?
    • Since that would at least cause significant brain damage, if not outright death, there'd probably be a traumatic and destructive collapse.

     Bing Bong as Joy 
What if Bing Bong takes 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. When Fear and the others tried to use a "normal" memory in the core module and it kept rejecting it; the console likely would have been unresponsive to Bing Bong's manipulation.

     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 biological drives (hunger, thirst, sex drive, sleepiness) rather than conscious moods.

     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 commercial 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.

     Unconventional Headquarters 
  • So there's a recurring 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). Would that be the same in 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?
    • 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.

     Drunk or High? 
  • If the host was drunk and/or high, how would that affect the Emotions and the Headquarters? For that matter, what if the host was an alcoholic and/or had a drug addiction?


    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?
    • People are hard-pressed to remember dreams at the best of times. Why would she draw a random dream of a weird looking creature?

     The Parents Are to Blame 
  • 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 half-hearted attempt to cheer her up. Not only that, 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.
    • Parents are people. Both of them would be just as stressed about the move and losing all their furniture. Riley's mom wasn't encouraging her to bottle up her feelings; she thought Riley was genuinely happy / not that bothered about the move and was asking her to keep up that cheer. The emotions interpreted that as a reason to let Joy remain at the controls as much as possible. She also tried to pick up what was wrong with Riley at dinner. As for the dad, as mentioned he did make an attempt to discuss with her. It's not like he went 'Ah well, too bad, I don't care I have a soccer match to watch, bye now!' In short, it's a textbook example of Poor Communication Kills.

     Riley's punishment? 
  • Stealing her mother's credit card and buying a bus ticket online behind her back? Her parents would probably be displeased at the very least.
    • Riley seems like she's a really good kid in general and that this was unusual circumstances, so don't be surprised if the punishment was lessened or even mitigated. 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.
    • Any displeasure they might have felt over that was likely overridden by worry over their missing child. And when Riley does get home, it's pretty obvious from the fact that she starts crying that she feels guilty about it and that there's something eating her up inside. Any decent parent would realize that there are more important things to deal with at that moment than a stolen credit card.

     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, considering that his entire existence pretty much revolves around being Riley's friend. Joy is a bit oblivious, but she's not heartless or cruel, and she seems to genuinely think seeing Bing Bong again would make Riley happy. 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?

     Big move = Big deal? 
  • Any reason why a cross-country move serves as the big catalyst for Riley? True, moves can be very saddening and homesickening, especially really big ones, but it raises certain questions. As an example, why does Sadness turn all Riley's memories sad? Surely some of them would still be happy, eg. the road trip with the dinosaurs?
    • You don't need any concrete problems or consequences of the move to get depressed — it's the occurrence of such a sudden, drastic change that's completely beyond their power that overwhelms them. 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. The dinosaur memory lost its feeling of happiness because Riley's growing depression made her lose her sense of humour and ability to laugh at things.

    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 do they have ones that closely match how emotions work in 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 World}}s in some way?
    • There's no evidence that people on the 'outside' are aware of the emotions on the 'inside', so the field of psychology works more or less the same as it does in the real world. 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.

     Actually, don't let Sadness near the controls 
  • 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'. Sure she reactivated the console and showed Riley's parents she needed support to cope with the move, but that was all to solve problems that she created in the first place. As long as she ensured that she never did anything like that again there should never be any need for her to take control.
    • Sadness doesn't make Riley feel sad, Sadness allows Riley to express her sadness and process it. Sadness wasn't anywhere near the console for most of the movie, it didn't stop Riley from actually being sad, it just made that sadness remains on the inside. If Riley isn't allowed to feel Sadness outside of random accidents, chances are the console would still conk out if Sadness was away from the console for extended periods of time.

     Getting rid of the Triple Dent Gum memory 
  • Is there a way for the emotions to send memories from HQ directly into the memory dump (Joy tried to send the sad core memory down through it)? If there is one, why don't the emotions just use it to get rid of the Triple-Dent Gum jingle when it gets sent up?
    • Joy just sends the sad core memory down to long term to stop it creating a personality island. Short of throwing it out the window the emotions can't send anything directly to the dump.
      • Fair enough, but then why don't the emotions just keep the memory up inside headquarters?
      • All the memory spheres except the core memories get sucked away into long-term memory at the end of the day; that probably includes memory spheres summoned up from Long-Term Memory. Even if they did, it's an advertising jingle; next time Riley heard it on TV or the radio another memory sphere would be made and render the whole thing moot.

     Forgotten Culprit 
  • Who or what events led Riley 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?
    • Nothing really caused Riley to forget about Bing Bong; it was just a natural process of her growing up and developing new interests. As for how the trip to the moon, it was ultimately a silly childhood adventure rather than full blown determination Riley had that 'Yes, one day, I shall be an astronaut and go to the moon!'
    • Either that, or forming a friendship with a 'real person' (Meg) made Bing Bong redundant.

     Why was the console replaced during the day? 
  • 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?
    • Presumably the console wasn't switched off while it was upgraded. Plenty of companies do that in Real Life: you plug in the new server, switch everything over, then you unplug the old one. Either that, or the workers were just applying the final touches during waking hours.
    • It is also possible that the console was upgraded by having new and larger sections added to the existing unit as necessary rather than a completely new one being installed.

     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).

     Rational mind? 
  • Shouldn't Riley realise that she's incapable of feeling happy or sad anymore?
    • Reverse cause and effect. It's not that Riley out of the blue lost the ability to feel happy or sad, it was that Riley ceased to feel happy or sad, which was represented by Joy and Sadness being sucked out of HQ.

     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. None of the flashbacks of young Riley playing with him show him with the bag, so odds are he did get it elsewhere. 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.

     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), so assuming she hasn't had The Talk yet, 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.

     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—" Broccoli seems quite brightly-colored.
    • The stems, maybe, but the florets are dark green. Certainly it's not the sort of brilliant "Froot Loops" hue that a toddler's Disgust would be screening for.

     Loneliness without Sadness 
  • How could Riley feel lonely at school if Sadness was absent from the headquarters? Now, before you say "sadness and loneliness are not the same thing" take into consideration that there are only five emotions in the film, with other emotions being subsets or mixtures. In this case, loneliness should be considered a form of Sadness, but sadness wasn't available.


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