clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chart: How Inside Out's 5 emotions work together to make more feelings

The emotions from Inside Out.
The emotions from Inside Out.
Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

Very, very mild spoilers for Inside Out follow.

An important part of the climax of Pixar's wonderful new film Inside Out involves the realization that all of our emotions are important, that feeling sad can be just as crucial as feeling happy, no matter what others might tell you.

But the movie also reveals that as we get older, our emotions begin to blend together into newer, more complicated feelings. Early in the film, Riley — the 11-year-old girl whose mind serves as Inside Out's primary setting — is largely defined by very primal feelings. She's either all joy or all sadness. She's all anger, or all fear, or all disgust.

However, once Riley moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, she discovers that her joyful memories of her old home are now tinged with sadness. That's an emotion adults know all too well, one called melancholy, and a big portion of Inside Out's final moments is taken up with both the reveal of this "hybrid" feeling and the assurance that experiencing it is a healthy, normal part of growing up.

But as we see in the last scene, more and more of Riley's memories are colored by two emotions at a time. That got us wondering what the many blends of Riley's five core emotions might look like. What happens when fear is combined with disgust? Or when anger is combined with joy?

Here's our best guess, in graphic form from Christophe Haubursin.

Inside Out emotions

Christophe Haubursin/Vox

Vox Video: Keep your emotions in-check at the claw machine

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.