7 Inside Out Fan Theories You Won’t Be Able to Handle

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Come June of this year, Finding Dory, the much-anticipated sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo, will be the talk of the town. But, until that time comes, Inside Out will continue to be the last AH-mazing Pixar film. (No offense to The Good Dinosaur — it was a cute movie, but not at the same level, you know?) Ever since its release in 2015, we’ve been going over all the little details in our heads. Why was Riley struggling so much? Is Bing Bong really… dead? Fortunately, fans as dedicated as you are have some of their own theories that pertain to the aforementioned questions, as well as some others they couldn’t let go.

Here are seven Inside Out fan theories you won’t be able to handle:

1. Riley has not identified her sexuality yet. From the get-go, it’s obvious that Riley has male and female emotions. (Joy, Sadness & Disgust are female; Anger & Fear are males.) But during a particular scene, in which Riley is sitting at the dinner table with her mom & dad, you’ll notice that all of Mom’s emotions are female & Dad’s emotions are male. So, the theory is that Riley has not yet identified her sexuality.

The film’s director, Pete Docter, however, already dispelled that theory. In an interview, he said it wasn’t that complicated. “For the comedy of it, we’re cutting between 18 characters and 4 locations in that dinner scene, so we just went broad with it,” he revealed. “Kind of how SNL would do it. They all have like dopey obvious mustaches or big red glasses so that you’re instantly clear on, ‘Oh, it’s Mom; it’s Dad.'”

2. Riley is missing an emotion. One Reddit user points out that Bing Bong has six colors on his jacket: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange & red. When you look at all the emotions represented, only five of those colors are used. Where’s the orange?

The theory is that Riley’s still missing an emotion — after all, she’s a young girl, therefore, she’s still developing. Within the Reddit thread, the most overwhelming missing piece seems to be… LUST. “She’ll get it when she hits puberty,” said a user. Well then…



3. Riley is adopted. You may’ve thought that you saw Riley being born at the beginning of the film, but what you actually saw was Riley opening her eyes for the first time and her parents talking to her. Reports point out, “If you look at Mrs. Andersen, she appears to be standing up, which you wouldn’t do once you gave birth. And she also doesn’t look like the way you should when you give birth. She doesn’t look like she just went through a lot of pain. She doesn’t look like she just did something extremely painful and arduous.”

Also, if the parents represented throughout the film were her biological parents, based on, you know, science, there’s a 25% chance of Riley having blue eyes and another 25% chance of her having blonde hair. While they’re possible, there’s a very slim chance of both happening.

4. Bing Bong was never imaginary! While you’re led to believe that he was once Riley’s imaginary friend, this theory sounds a heck of a lot better: “He is a real monster who came into Riley’s bedroom at night to make her laugh, just like all the other guys do in Monsters, Inc. He simply disappeared when Riley got too old, but the memory of him still existed inside her head.” That means that only the memory of him died, but he, himself, still lives on — in the real world!

5. It’s connected to Ratatouille… and not in a good way. When Riley and her family first move into their new place, she finds a dead rat; a very familiar-looking rat.

The theory is that the rodent Riley finds is actually Remy from Ratatouille, only deceased. Morbid.

6. Riley and Bonnie are related?! Many tried to connect the girl from Inside Out to the girl from Toy Story 3 because, upon first listen, they have the same last name. However…

A simple search of the two girls produces the following results: Riley Andersen | Bonnie Anderson — that one-letter difference means there’s zero chance of a blood relation… through that side of the family, anyway.

7. It’s got a place in The Pixar Theory, too. Even though The Pixar Theory hit the Internet before Inside Out was released, its creator found a way to squeeze it in.

Inside Out indeed takes place in the present,” says theorist Jon Negroni. “Riley’s birth apparently happens sometime in 2003 or 2004, placing it right after or perhaps even during the events of Finding Nemo. By the time Riley is 11, the year is 2015.”

The evidence: “Riley uses an advanced smartphone along with a video messaging surrogate for Skype. Now, this could fit into several other years. Perhaps as far back as 2011 or 2012. But there’s nothing in the movie that suggests this is a few years ago, so I think it’s safe to say the filmmakers intended for the movie to be placed in the modern day.”

That means it overlaps with Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3 and Up.

You can reach this post’s author, Kaitlin Cubria, on Twitter and Instagram!

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