Riley's Fate In Inside Out 2, Confirmed

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Inside Out 2 emotions, Riley

A fan concept trailer of Disney's Inside Out 2 sparked speculation that Riley dies in the sequel due to its head-turning thumbnail. 

Inside Out 2 tackles how Riley navigates her life as a teenager, complete with a clash between old and new emotions inside her mind

Anxiety's takeover of Riley's mind may have been too much for her, leading Joy and the rest of the old emotions to save her from losing her sense of self after being banished by the new ones. 

[ Inside Out 2 Director Confirms What We All Suspected About Sequel's Puberty Plot ]

Does Riley Die in Inside Out 2?

Riley in Inside Out 2

A fan concept trailer posted on May 27 by Cinematic Pro Studio featured a thumbnail showing Riley's emotions (Joy, Sadness, Embarrassment, and Ennui) all gathered together by what appears to be the young girl's tomb. 

This thumbnail led to fan speculation that Riley will die in the sequel. 

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Inside Out 2

Riley does not die in Inside Out 2. Instead, the sequel showed her struggles as she tried to fit in during hockey camp. 

Riley's anxieties about several things were shown, such as her best friends going to a different school, trying to fit in with the high school kids and impressing them (mostly Val) during hockey camp, and finding out the coach's notes about her being "not ready" to join the Firehawks team. 

All the pressure and insecurities eventually took a toll on Riley, culminating in overexerting herself in the final hockey scrimmage and having a panic attack. 

Thankfully, Joy, Anxiety, and the rest of the emotions unite to help Riley regain control and build a new Sense of Self (one infused with all the good and bad memories) to be a better version of herself.

Riley then calmed down and reconciled with her original best friends. The emotions ultimately worked together to balance Riley's emotions and cement her complex personality. 

The movie ended with Riley receiving the good news that she made the Firehawks team. 

Why Riley’s Death Will Likely Not Happen Anytime Soon

Joy, Anxiety, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger in Inside Out 2
Riley's emotions

Early critic reviews of Inside Out 2 led to an impressive box office performance (per AP News) and trending conversations about the hit Pixar sequel. 

Some even pointed out that Inside Out 2 is woke due to concerns such as the movie's handling of issues in the pre-teen era and mental health, and it is largely a female-focused story. 

This rumor of Riley dying in the sequel is another example of the sequel creating interesting conversations among viewers and fans.

It is unlikely that the topic of Riley's death will be handled by a future Inside Out installment or spin-off due to the morbid nature of such a possibility in a children's franchise. 

Still, a potential Inside Out 3 could sprinkle certain grim topics like death, may it be a passing comment from Sadness or Anxiety or a side story centered around adulthood. 

Inside Out 2 is now playing in theaters worldwide.

- In This Article: Inside Out 2
Release Date
June 14, 2024
Amy Poehler
Phyllis Smith
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.