Do you ever look at someone and wonder, what is going on inside their head?

Joy is the protagonist of the Disney/Pixar film Inside Out. She is one of the five emotions inside the mind of Riley Andersen. She always strives to remain joyful, hence her name, and is the leader of the emotions.

Why She Rocks

  1. Joy is, as her name states, the very essence of happiness and perkiness, and as such, she loves to look on the bright side of things.
  2. Joy’s goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy.
  3. She is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation.
  4. She is the oldest of all of the emotions, as she was the first one to appear, making her the wisest and the most experienced.
  5. She is a strong, optimistic Pixar character.
  6. She sees challenges in Riley’s life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. 

Bad Qualities

  1. She mistreats Sadness (albeit unintentionally) because she does not understand why Sadness is a necessary emotion, due to nobody else knowing what her purpose for Riley is, and Joy wants Riley to be happy all the time.
  2. She is not above lying, as she told Fear that earthquakes don't exist, when they really do.
  3. She values Riley's happiness to the point where she does not want any of the other emotions to influence Riley. She does not want Riley to be sad at all, even when she needs to be.
  4. When Bing Bong lost his wagon and was grieving, she wanted him to not be sad when he had to be and tried doing childish and silly things to get him to stop without understanding that cheerfulness and positivity are not always what a sad person needs.
  5. The "Riley needs to be happy" line she tells Sadness. This line causes Sadness to believe Riley would be better without her.


  • According to Pete Docter, her appearance is based on that of a star/burst of energy. This can be seen in Abstract Thought, as, during the fourth stage, Joy and Sadness were reduced to a single shape and color - Joy was a yellow star and Sadness was a blue teardrop.
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