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Ah, if anyone needs me, I'll be whimpering softly to myself.

Fear is a character in Inside Out. He is one of the original five emotions inside the mind of Riley Andersen.


Inside Out[]


Fear was created in Riley's mind when she was very young. His job was to keep her safe by monitoring hazards around her, such as a power cord that she could trip over. As Riley grew, he continued to keep her safe and celebrated her not dying each day as she went to sleep.

When Riley was eleven, her dad got a new job in San Francisco, so the family sold their house in Minnesota and moved. All the emotions except Joy immediately hated Riley's new house, while Joy pleaded with them to give it a chance.

On Riley's first day at her new school, Joy had Fear come up with a list of all the possible negative outcomes so they were prepared to deal with them. When Riley's teacher asked her to introduce herself to the class, Fear freaked out.

When Joy and Sadness were sucked out of Headquarters, the remaining emotions decided to do their best to replace Joy and make Riley happy. Unfortunately, without Joy and with all of Riley's Islands of Personality deactivated due to the loss of her Core Memories, Riley struggled. Without Joy, Her Islands started to crumble one by one. When Riley tried out for a new hockey team, Fear tried to replace her core hockey memory with as many hockey memories as he could find, but they weren't enough and Riley ended up leaving the tryout angry after underperforming, causing Hockey Island to crumble.

When Anger had the idea to make Riley go back to Minnesota to make new happy Core Memories, Fear encouraged him to sleep on it first. That night, Fear was on Dream Duty and was scared when Riley's dream turned to a nightmare. He fainted when Jangles the Clown appeared, startling Riley awake. When Anger and Disgust found Fear curled up under the console, Anger decided it was time for Riley to run away and planted the idea in her head, getting the ball rolling. Fear tried to stop her while she was packing, but Anger took control back and she continued with her plan.

As Riley got to the bus station, they started to realize what a bad idea it was, but were unable to get the idea out of Riley's head. They realized they were unable to make Riley feel anything. When Sadness and Joy returned to Headquarters, Disgust goaded Anger to make him Angry enough for flames to come out of his head, which she used to cut a hole in the glass, allowing them to come back inside. Then they were surprised when Joy had Sadness take control of the console, which she used to get Riley to get off the bus and go back home, then tell her parents how she was feeling about San Francisco.

Over the next year, the emotions helped Riley create more mixed emotion Core Memories, forming new Islands of Personality. Fear hoped that Boy Band Island was just a phase. The Mind Workers also installed a new, expanded control panel, including a button labelled, "Puberty," which Joy said was probably not important.

Riley's First Date?[]

While Mom and Riley were upstairs talking, Fear realized that Jordan was downstairs alone with Dad.

Mind Candy[]

Fear became afraid of many things, including the camera, Sadness coming up behind him in the dark, Joy saying "Boo," and bouncing on a trampoline. He also tried to clean a spot on the wall Disgust pointed out, but ended up making it worse. Then he tried to straighten a memory on a shelf and ended up knocking the entire shelf down. Finally, he held up Joy as she placed a memory on a high shelf, creating the pattern of a Christmas Tree.

Inside Out 2[]


Disney INFINITY 3.0[]

Fear is set to appear in Disney INFINITY's third installment as a playable character.


Notes and Trivia[]

  • Official Description: Fear's main job is to protect Riley and keep her safe. He is constantly on the lookout for potential disasters, and spends time evaluating the possible dangers, pitfalls and risk involved in Riley's everyday activities. There are very few activities and events that Fear does not find to be dangerous and possibly fatal.[source?]
  • According to Pete Docter, his appearance is based on a raw nerve.[source?]
  • The hair that protrudes from the back of his head changes depending on his current emotion. Usually, it is located behind the head. If he is worried or scared, it gives a zig-zag shape. If he is sad, it maintains its normal curvature, but falls downwards.
  • Surprisingly, despite being the very definition of being scared, he's not afraid of Riley's nightmares, instead viewing many of Riley's dreams and nightmares as "cheesy" and "lacking plot lines."
  • He treats being put on Dream Duty (monitoring Riley's dreams and waking her if they are too scary) as a chore and despises doing it. He is able to point out and predict many different dream tropes such as teeth falling out and going to school with no pants on, similar to someone watching a badly-written movie.
  • Fear has many of the scenes he was improvised by his actor Bill Hader. For example, Bill was never in the script to represent slapstick when Fear tried to "give up" intentionally to get to be sucked through the recall tube.[source?]
  • In an early draft, it was Fear who was supposed to get lost with Joy in Riley's mind instead of Sadness, as the writers thought it would be funny. However, the plot wasn't going well and so Docter decided that Sadness would be better, claiming that sadness helped him get through the stress of the plot troubles.[source?]
  • During the development of the film, when Joy and Fear are lost even as the story goes on, Fear was originally called Freddie.[source?]


Inside Out has a collection of images and media related to Fear.


"Woah, sharp turn!"

"Let me guess. We have no pants on."

"Boy Band Island? Hope that's just a phase."

"I sure am glad you told me earthquakes are a myth, Joy. Otherwise I'd be terrified right now!"

(Referring to his favorite part of the car ride to San Francisco) "Wearing a seatbelt!"

"All right, we did not die today! I call that an unqualified success."

(on his favorite daydream) "Ooh! That looks safe!"

"Just because Joy and Sadness are gone, I have to do stupid Dream Duty."

"The van is lost?! It's the worst day ever!"

"Please, we really your help!"

"We are suppressed emotions!"

"Look I don't like her words, and I do not like her actions, I just think I can change her!"


v - e - d
Inside Out Poster Logo
Inside Out: JoySadnessAngerDisgustFearMrs. Andersen's EmotionsMr. Andersen's EmotionsBing BongRainbow UnicornJangles the ClownRiley AndersenMrs. AndersenMr. AndersenMegFrank and DaveJordanFritz

Inside Out 2: AnxietyEmbarrassmentEnnuiEnvyNostalgia
Deleted characters: GloomHopePrideShame