Joy with one of Riley's memory orbs

Joy considering memory trays in Headquarters

A sample of the more complex two-emotion memories

"These are Riley's memories, and they're mostly happy, you'll notice, not to brag."
—Joy, opening narration

Memory Orbs are major objects in Inside Out.

Inside Out

Each orb represents the memory of a particular event, which is visible (and heard) in playback inside the orb. Each memory is colored according to the emotion(s) predominating at the time it was formed: yellow for Joy, blue for Sadness, red for Anger, green for Disgust and purple for Fear. The stronger the emotion, the brighter the color and the stronger the memory.

Before Riley turned 11, she had only memories expressing a single emotion. By the end of the film, the Emotions discover that a memory can have two emotions at the same time, giving them a wider range of coloration and complexities. These memories appear two-colored.

Memories are formed in Headquarters by the Emotions, and they are temporarily stored there on shelves before being shipped to Long Term Memory during nighttime.

Emotions may recall memories from Long Term via vacuum tubes. They can read a memory either by looking directly into it, or by projecting its content on the screen in Headquarters. Interestingly, a memory usually shows a third-person viewpoint of the event, though memories with a first-person point of view do exist.

All memories are suseptible to fading, especially those that have a weak emotion attached to them. A faded memory turns gray or blackish in color. The Forgetters go through Long Term to remove them and throw them in the Memory Dump.

There also exist core memories, which contain events of greater significance that power the Islands of Personality. They appear brighter than any other memory and are usually stored in a special tray inside Headquarters.


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