7 'Inside Out' Quotes That Prove Fear Was The True Star

If you haven't seen Pixar's movie Inside Out, you should go do that. Now. It's without a doubt one of the most poignant children's movies ever made, exploring the process of emotional development from a metaphysical perspective. As the protagonist Riley goes through major life changes, the emotions that live inside her head struggle to maintain control. But when Sadness replaces Joy as the primary emotion tinting Riley's view of the world, the balance gets out of whack and it is up to the other emotions to restore it. These "supporting" emotions are Disgust, Fear, and Anger, and they work in tandem to try to regulate Riley's experience of the world. Disgust, played by Mindy Kaling, is a valley-girl type who hates broccoli and cares about appearance over substance. Anger, voiced by Lewis Black, is impulsive and very particular about pizza toppings. But it's Fear, brought to life by Bill Hader, who adds an extra level of depth to the group of emotions in Riley's mind. In fact, I'd argue that these seven Inside Out quotes from Fear show that he's the most underrated character of the whole movie.

Fear is an innate reflexive response in every person, the purpose of which is to keep one alive by warning of potential danger in the immediate environment. But when fear is overactive, it causes one to be irrationally afraid of both real and imagined circumstances. Fear, therefore, is actually a major roadblock in many people's lives, preventing them from taking risks and achieving their goals. It's also an incredibly human emotion. Take a look at some moments from Inside Out that demonstrate why fear is so important in the film:

1. "Did you see that face?! They're judging us!!!"

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Here, Fear shows Riley's social anxiety when she's surrounded by new people in a new environment. It's a totally normal feeling, but can also be paralyzing.

2. "Way ahead of ya there! Does anyone know how to spell "meteor"?

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This is Fear's response to Joy's request for a list of possible negative outcomes on the first day at a new school. This behavior is called "catastrophizing" and, while it may seem silly when viewed objectively, it's something that many people do on a frequent basis.

3. "We did not die today! I call that an unqualified success!"

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This line shows that Fear's main goal is to keep Riley safe; he just has unrealistic ideas about what is and isn't a threat to her safety.

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

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Here, Fear demonstrates how people tell themselves "little lies" to make the day more manageable. Sometimes this can get out hand and grow into full-blown denial, but other times it can be healthy.

5. "Guys... we can't make Riley feel anything!"

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Sometimes, the only thing worse than too many feelings is none. Fear demonstrates that as much as our emotions can scare us, what's really scary is being numb.

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

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When Fear has the task of watching Riley's dreams and waking her up if things get too scary, he's bored because he's able to anticipate every frightful thing that will happen in the narrative of the dream. It's an interesting concept because it shows that we know what we're "supposed" to be afraid of, and if we accept these things they're suddenly not so scary.

7. "I wish Joy was here!"

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Although he is often irrational, Fear shows that he knows that Joy is crucial to Riley's well-being. Her absence makes him even more afraid, which is actually a telling statement about how fear feeds off of fear.

According to an interview with MoviePilot, Peter Docter based Fear's appearance off of that of a raw nerve. There are about 100 billion nerves in the human body, allowing us to explore all the wonderful things in the world while also making us vulnerable to everything in it that might hurt us. This personification of Fear as a nerve therefore speaks to the character's crucial role in Riley's life experience. So while Fear is billed as a "supporting" emotion in Inside Out, he actually gives Riley a depth that shows the full extent of her humanity.

Images: Disney/Pixar, Giphy (7)