Disney Wiki
Disney Wiki

I know you don't want me to, but... I miss home. I miss Minnesota. You need me to be happy, but... I want my old friends and my hockey team. I want to go home. Please don't be mad.

Riley Elphaba Andersen[4][5] is a major character in the 2015 Disney/Pixar animated feature film, Inside Out. She is an 11-year-old girl (later 12) in 6th grade who loves ice hockey. She was uprooted from her happy and simple life in Minnesota and taken to San Francisco, California, where she experiences various changes in her life. Her emotions (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger) help her through this tough time, ensuring her well-being.



Riley's emotions contribute to her primary behaviors in the film. Overall, Riley is upbeat, honest, and goofy when she is content. However, in adolescence, Riley becomes more sentimental, shy, and uncertain of herself as her other emotions begin appearing. By the time her family moves to San Francisco, she starts to be more troubled, irked, and lonely. Her emotions at this point try to help her get adjusted to the new life. Riley can second-guess herself, but she doesn't always repent her actions.

Riley really misses Minnesota and is unable to cope with the transition. However, Riley is afraid to tell her parents her true feelings as they want her to accept the new home and because she has always been their "happy girl".

As time goes on, however, Riley becomes emotionally vulnerable, entering a sort of numb state of mind and coming to the point where she tries to run away, almost losing herself in the process. But it is here she realizes that she had almost given up on the things that matter the most to her in life and realizes the risk just in time. Returning home and admitting to her parents that she's greatly depressed, she learns to accept San Francisco when her parents comfort her over the personal loss, and Riley (with the guide of her emotions) eventually adapts to her new home.

Physical appearance

Riley is an 11-year-old preteen (later 12) with a slender figure. She has shoulder-length, dirty-blonde hair and cornflower-blue eyes. Both her parents have brown hair and brown eyes, implying that both the dirty-blonde hair and cornflower-blue eyes are recessive traits. She has very faint freckles around her nose, and she also has a noticeable gap between her two front teeth.

Riley is seen wearing a different outfit daily. When first shown in the teaser trailer, she wore a long-sleeved shirt with thin horizontal red, yellow, light green zigzag lines, brown pants, and red Converse sneakers. When Riley arrived on her first day of school, she wore the same outfit but a yellow jacket. When Riley suffered a brain freeze, she wore a solid pink short-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and green Converse sneakers. When arriving in San Francisco, she wore a long-sleeved rainbow shirt, blue jeans, and pink socks. Riley's pajamas consisted of a green short-sleeved shirt with blue trim featuring a koala bear on the front and dark blue sweatpants.

Mind Locations

Her mind is extremely large and includes certain locations like:

  • Emotion Headquarters: The central part of Riley's mind, where Anger, Disgust, Joy, Fear, and Sadness all live and control Riley and where her memories are produced.
  • Personality Islands: Seven personifications of different sides of Riley's personality, as determined by the core memories.
  • Long Term Memory: Enormous shelves of various memories forming the main layout of her mind.
  • Imagination Land: A place where everything Riley imagines is built.
  • Dream Productions: Where dreams are filmed.
  • Subconscious: Contains Riley's worst fears.
  • Abstract Thought: A place where ideas (or anyone inside) are simplified to abstract concepts.
  • Train of Thought: A train that connects Headquarters and the rest of the mind.
  • Memory Dump: An abyss surrounding Headquarters, where faded memories end up and eventually disappear to be forgotten forever.


Inside Out

Riley is a major character in the film. Her mind is the main location and the main priority of it. When Riley is born, Joy, her first living emotion, is conjured up with baby Riley smiling right at her parents. A few seconds later, another emotion named Sadness appears and makes Riley cry. Joy pushes Sadness out of the way and makes Riley happy again. Over the years, Riley starts to grow up in Minnesota and her other emotions, Disgust, Anger, and Fear, are born. Riley becomes happy and jolly pretty much all the time and hardly sad at all. Because of her happiness and joy, Joy unintentionally mistreats Sadness (who was only used when Riley threw tantrums). Riley also becomes one of the best players on her hockey team.

When it is time for Riley and her parents to move to San Francisco, Riley becomes sad and misses her life in Minnesota. Riley starts to go from joyous and happy to sentimental and a bit depressed because she misses the good old days in Minnesota, not to mention that their new house is horrible and the only type of pizza they serve at a pizza restaurant is broccoli pizza. Riley becomes even sadder, and Joy does all she can to prevent this from happening. Things go from bad to worse when Sadness accidentally humiliates Riley by making her sob in front of the class while telling her class about the good old days in Minnesota (although the other kids had empathetic looks on their faces when she was crying). This causes a new core memory to be created, which is a sad one. Joy doesn't want Riley to ever be sad, so she decides to get rid of it. But during an argument, Joy and Sadness literally get lost in Riley's mind, leaving the others to try to keep Riley's head on straight, but only end up causing Riley to become rude, reclusive, and cantankerous.

From there, matters start taking turns for the worst. The next day, Riley video chats with her old friend Meg from Minnesota. Things go well until Meg tells Riley all about the wonders of her new best friend, whereupon Riley feels replaced and gets so angry that she hangs up on Meg. When she attends the hockey tryouts, she doesn't perform too well, and she decides to call it quits.

Riley figures that since everything in San Francisco is horrible, combined with her being so nostalgic about Minnesota, she decides to run away and return to Minnesota (an idea that Anger created, believing it was in her best interest). She steals her mother's credit card and skips school to catch a bus back to Minnesota. As her emotions struggle inside her mind, Riley becomes apathetic and fully depressed. When Joy and Sadness finally make it back to Headquarters, Riley finally realizes what she is doing is wrong and decides to run back home. When Riley returns to her worried parents, she confesses that she was pretending to still be happy and misses the good old days in Minnesota. Her parents confess that they miss Minnesota as well, and Riley finally lets her feelings out. Soon enough, things are finally looking up for the Andersens. Riley is part of a brand-new hockey team, and there are new islands in her mind.

Riley's First Date?

Riley returns in the short film, where she goes out skating with a boy named Jordan (whom she met at the end of the film). Meanwhile, her parents suspect that she is going out on a date with him and the Andersen's emotions all try to find a way to make it through this, like when her mother tells Riley in a "cool way" that is Riley hanging with Jordan, leaving Riley confused, with weird and comical results. After assuring her mother that she and Jordan are going skating with a group of friends, she soon realizes that Jordan was left alone with her father. She rushes downstairs to find her father and Jordan listening to loud rock music while playing with air guitars. Embarrassed, Riley drags Jordan out the door.

Finding Dory

Riley is an Easter egg in the movie. When Dory is thrown into Destiny's aquarium, she swims back and fears with a child together to the group of children and Riley is in.

Disney Parks and live appearances

Riley Andersen in Disney on Ice: Follow your Heart.

Riley's mind was built at Hong Kong Disneyland during the Coolest Summer Ever event in 2015. Guests can enter her mind and meet Joy and Sadness at the Art of Animation exhibition in the Opera House on Main Street USA.

Riley made her first actual live appearance in the Disney on Ice show, Follow Your Heart.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Riley Andersen.


  • In the teaser trailer, Riley with her mom and dad are eating from Chinese food boxes of the same type as the one seen in A Bug's Life and several other Pixar films.
  • In the said teaser trailer, the playground scene in Riley's Memory Orbs is taken from Sunnyside Daycare in Toy Story 3.
  • Her last name is based on Pixar employee Darla K. Anderson and the Toy Story 3 character Bonnie Anderson.
  • Riley is cross-dominant, using her left hand when drawing Bing Bong on the walls as a toddler and shooting the puck in hockey and her right when she is eating.
  • Riley is one of the few characters in the film to have emotions of different genders.
    • According to Pete Docter, this was done to make them as diverse as possible, while the emotions of other persons were uniformized for quick readability. He states that it's "a little phony, but hopefully, people don't mind."
    • When going into the minds of various characters, the film seems to suggest that children and teenagers all have emotions of different genders while adults' emotions are all the same gender, but a cat's and dog's emotions are identical to the cat or dog they're controlling.
  • Riley's yelling, screaming, and crying when she was a toddler are actually recycled recordings of Boo's shouting and crying from Monsters, Inc.
    • Coincidentally, both Monsters, Inc. and Inside Out were directed by Pete Docter, which is said in several posters and TV spots.
    • Mary Gibbs, Boo's original voice actor, is even listed under additional voices for this film.
  • Riley's original home in Minnesota might be a reference to director Pete Docter, who was also originally from Minnesota.
  • Riley is inspired by Pete Docter's daughter, Elie (the voice of Young Ellie in Up). Elie Docter was very outgoing and goofy when she was little, but became quieter and more introverted as she got older.
  • What appears to be the A113 Easter egg is positioned on a wall next to Riley before she pulls out her phone the first time when she is running away. It is spray-painted in black behind her.
  • Her middle name, Elphaba, is a reference to the character from the book and Broadway musical, "Wicked".
  • Riley appearing as a cameo in Finding Dory could imply that both Inside Out and Finding Dory could take place in the same universe as the Marine Life Institute is in California and Riley currently lives in San Francisco.
  • Unlike other people, all of Riley's emotions wear different clothes and have different hairstyles.
  • When Riley tells her parents she wants to go back home, Kaitlyn Dias was in tears.


  1. https://ohmy.disney.com/news/2016/11/15/9-finding-dory-fun-facts-and-easter-eggs-you-probably-didnt-notice/
  2. Inside Out: The Essential Guide, page 6
  3. Inside Out Press Kit
  4. Inside Out: The Essential Guide, page 6
  5. Inside Out Press Kit
http://pixar.fandom.com/Pixar_Wiki This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Pixar Wiki. The list of authors can be seen in the page revision history (view authors). As with Disney Wiki, the text of the Pixar Wiki is available under the CC-BY-SA license.
v - e - d
Films: Inside Out (video/soundtrack) • Riley's First Date?

Video Games: Inside Out: Thought BubblesDisney Infinity: 3.0 EditionDisney Crossy RoadDisney Emoji BlitzLEGO The IncrediblesDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Books: The Art of Inside OutThe Bing Bong BookMaking MemoriesWelcome to HeadquartersJourney into the MindThe Essential GuideDriven by EmotionsSo Many Feelings: Riley's World Inside and OutInside My Mind: A Book About Me!Joy's JourneyMeet The EmotionsJoy's Greatest Joy/Simply SadnessRainbow of EmotionsThe Emotions' Survival Guide

Disney Parks
Inside Out HeadquartersInside Out Emotional WhirlwindPLAY!Pixar Pal-A-Round

Entertainment: Pixar Playtime Pals
Restaurants: Angry Dogs
Shops: Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff
Parade: Dreams.... And Shine Brighter!Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street PartyPixar Play Parade
Firework: ILLUMINATE! A Nighttime CelebrationMomentousTogether Forever: A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular
Spring: Disney Color-Fest: A Street Party!
Summer: Pixar Water Play Street Party!
Christmas: World of Color: Season of Light

JoySadnessAngerDisgustFearThe EmotionsMrs. Andersen's EmotionsMr. Andersen's EmotionsBing BongRainbow UnicornThe ForgettersJangles the ClownRiley AndersenMrs. AndersenMr. AndersenMegFrank and DaveJordanFritz Brazilian Helicopter PilotGloom (deleted)
Emotion HeadquartersLong Term MemoryImagination LandDream ProductionsAbstract ThoughtPersonality IslandsSubconsciousMemory DumpMinnesotaSan FranciscoRiley's House
Memory OrbsCore Memory OrbsTrain of ThoughtDaydreamsBottomless BagRocket WagonPixar BallA113Pizza Planet Truck
Bundle of JoyThe Bing Bong SongTripleDent GumItoshi no RileyBack in BlackTake My Breath Away
See Also
The Science Behind PixarPixar in a Box

v - e - d
Disney infinity logo.png
Disney InfinityDisney Infinity: 2.0 EditionDisney Infinity: 3.0 Edition
Playable Characters
Disney Infinity: Jack SparrowMr. IncredibleSulleySorcerer MickeyLightning McQueenWoodyMaterBuzz LightyearMike WazowskiRandall BoggsHector BarbossaDavy JonesElastigirlDash ParrViolet ParrSyndromeJohn ReidTontoJack SkellingtonPhineas FlynnPerry the PlatypusJessieWreck-It RalphVanellope von SchweetzRapunzelElsaAnnaHolley ShiftwellFrancesco Bernoulli

Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition: Iron ManCaptain AmericaHulkBlack WidowThor OdinsonHawkeyeNick FuryLoki LaufeysonMaleficentMeridaSpider-ManVenomIron FistNovaGreen GoblinRocket RaccoonGrootStar-LordGamoraDrax the DestroyerStitchTinker BellAladdinJasmineDonald DuckBaymaxHiro HamadaFalconYonduSam FlynnQuorra
Disney Infinity: 3.0 Edition: YodaUltronLuke SkywalkerFa MulanAnakin SkywalkerLeia OrganaHan SoloAhsoka TanoDarth VaderDarth MaulObi-Wan KenobiFinnReyPoe DameronKylo RenJoySadnessAngerFearDisgustMinnie MouseOlafChewbaccaHulkbuster Iron ManEzra BridgerKanan JarrusGarazeb OrreliosSabine WrenBoba FettSpotJudy HoppsNick WildePeter PanBalooCaptain America - The First AvengerBlack PantherVisionAnt-ManAliceMad HatterTimeDoryNemo

Non-Playable Characters
Disney Infinity: HammRexSlinky DogEmperor ZurgJoshamee GibbsPintel and RagettiMaccusEdna ModeRick DickerMirageLuigiRamoneFloChick HicksThe KingGuidoFinn McMissileCarla VelosoTractorsArtScott "Squishy" SquibblesTerri and Terry PerryDon CarltonEaster Bunny

Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition: WaspCaptain MarvelAnt-Man (Hank Pym)SifMODOKFrost GiantsIron PatriotWinter SoldierMysterioDoctor OctopusBlack CatWhite TigerPower ManJ. Jonah JamesonCosmo the SpacedogThe CollectorThe WitchPleakleyGolden Harp
Disney Infinity: 3.0 Edition: R2-D2C-3POJabba the HuttJar Jar BinksMace WinduPadmé AmidalaKing CandyMarshmallowYokaiBattle DroidsMarlinBruceAnglerfishSeagullsHankDestinyBailey • Jellyfish

Cruella's carRatcatcherPumpkin CoachLightsaberDarkwing Duck's gas gunBlack PearlIdentity DiscPlasma Blaster Mark ICandy KartKing Candy's Royal RacerPizza Planet TruckRecognizerBathtubLight RunnerPixar BallThe Jolly Roger (Disney Parks version) • The Electric Mayhem BusBaseball Launcher