Disney Fan Fiction Wiki
SADNESS Fullbody Render
Background information
Feature films Inside Out
SpongeBob's Magical Adventure
Television programs
Video games Inside Out: Thought Bubbles
Disney INFINITY series
Park attractions
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Voice Phyllis Smith
Performance model Teardrops
Inspiration The emotion Sadness
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names
Personality Depressed, gloomy, nervous, helpful, gentle, negative, sensitive, insecure, emotional, reluctant, thoughtful, lonely, pessimistic, disappointed, compassionate, mournful, weepy, whiny, intelligent, empathetic
Appearance Chubby, light blue skin, shoulder-length dark blue hair, sapphire blue eyes, buck teeth, thick dark purple round glasses, white turtleneck sweater, navy blue pants and slippers
Occupation Riley's sadness
Goal To find her true purpose in life (succeeded)
To signal others when Riley needs help, comfort and support
To help Riley feel true happiness and joy
Home Headquarters in Riley Andersen's mind
Allies Joy, Fear, Disgust, Anger, Bing Bong
Enemies Jangles the Clown
Likes Being dragged, being helpful, rainy days, the movie where the dog dies, Tragic Vampire Romance Island, reading mind manuals, winning
Dislikes Having to be left out, Long Term Memory, being ignored, being mistreated, losing, being betrayed
Powers and abilities Can make a rain cloud, make it rain tears and fly on the cloud, turning a memory sad
Fate Gets accepted as an equal to the other emotions
Quote "Okay! I'm positive you will get lost in there."
"Oh, Participation Award."
"I'm too sad to walk."
"I only make things worse! Riley's better off without me!"
"Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems."
―Sadness to Joy

Sadness is the deuteragonist in the 2015 Disney/Pixar film Inside Out. She is one of the five emotions inside the mind of Riley Andersen.


Sadness was born when Riley was a baby; there, she met Joy, the first born emotion. When she caused baby Riley to cry, Joy pushed her aside and fixed the situation. Sadness was only used whenever Riley threw tantrums or didn't get her way.

Official Description[]

None of the other Emotions really understand what Sadness' role is. Sadness would love to be more optimistic and helpful in keeping Riley happy, but she finds it so hard to be positive. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do is just lie on the floor and have a good cry.


Sadness is literally the very definition and being of sorrow and gloom. She is hardly ever used because Joy is the boss and doesn't want Riley to ever be sad, even when she needs to be. Because of this, Joy treats Sadness badly. Secretly, however, Sadness yearns to earn her place among the other emotions, even though the others do not believe Sadness has a purpose in the mind and almost always prevent her from trying. She is the most sensitive out of all the emotions, as she felt genuinely hurt by Joy's desertion because "Riley needs to be happy", which made poor Sadness feel she was truly useless and unneeded.

Sadness also complains a lot, as seen when she keeps saying she's too sad to walk or do anything.

Sadness is also smarter, has more common sense, and is more pragmatic than the others, which proved expedient in the journey through Riley's mind, as she kept trying to warn Joy about the dangers of taking Bing Bong's "shortcut" through Abstract Thought, which was really a dangerous place to go through, but nobody listened to her. She also suggested scaring Riley to wake her up, but Joy thought that giving her a fun dream would wake her up, which it wouldn't.

Despite her pessimistic disposition and being negative all the time, she is very considerate and compassionate towards others; when Bing Bong was sad about losing his wagon, she sympathized with him and let him tell his true feelings, which made him feel much better. Unknowingly, this is because of Sadness' true purpose - her role is to tell others when Riley needs help by helping her let the sadness out so she can then let it go. When Sadness is requested to take control after Riley's sorrow became evident, she is able to let Riley express her true feelings and helps Riley find happiness at last. After the other emotions finally accept Sadness, not only does Joy start treating her better but Sadness gains more confidence in herself as well, now that she has finally found her place.

She, despite her personality, is actually a fan of romance-related things. This can be seen when she smiles when she sees the Imaginary Boyfriend, and Tragic Vampire Romance Island. This appears to be one of the few things that make her happy.


Inside Out[]

Sadness first appears at Riley's birth. She appears less than a minute after Riley's first emotion, Joy, presses a button that makes baby Riley smile. Sadness makes Riley cry, but Joy pushes Sadness out of the way and makes Riley happy again.

Due to Joy's obsession with keeping Riley happy, she unintentionally mistreats Sadness. As a matter of fact, the other emotions tend to exclude Sadness as well. They won't let Sadness take the wheel at all, no matter how sad the situation needs to be.

When Riley moves to San Francisco, everything starts to go from bad to worse; Riley's dad doesn't have time for her, their new house is terrible, they only serve broccoli pizza and the moving van won't come for weeks. Sadness thinks this is a good time for her to handle Riley's problems, but Joy won't let her.

The next day at Riley's new school, Joy tells Sadness to stay out of everything and stay in a small white circle made of chalk, so Riley won't be sad. When Riley is called up to introduce herself, she talks about the good old days in Minnesota and starts to cry because she misses it. It is revealed that Sadness was secretly taking the wheel and she made a new Core Memory that is a sad one.

The other emotions begin to panic as the sad core memory rolls into the core memory chamber. Joy takes the core memory out and decides to throw it away. Sadness tries to stop Joy, but it causes them and the core memories to be sucked up into a tube and they end up in Long Term Memory. Joy decides to find a way to get back to Headquarters with Sadness as her guide.

During the journey, they run into Riley's old imaginary friend from toddlerhood, Bing Bong, who knows a way back to Headquarters. Joy decides to have him show them the way back. While on their way back, they go though Imagination Land, where they see that many of the childish aspects of Riley's personality are being removed, including Bing Bong's rocket that is sent down to the Memory Dump. Bing Bong starts crying and Joy tries to get him to stop by being goofy, but it doesn't work at all. Instead of trying to cheer him up, Sadness decides to sympathize with him and let him express his emotions. In just a minute or so, Bing Bong feels better. Joy is shocked that Sadness could solve Bing Bong's problems without cheering him up.

The next day, the trio finds out that Riley is running away and that all the personality islands are disappearing one by one. Joy decides to leave Sadness behind and return to HQ, but her plan backfires when she falls into the Memory Dump and Bing Bong comes after her. When Joy looks at all of the forgotten memories, she sees tons of sad ones and realizes that Riley's problems were solved because Sadness was the one in control during those times and Joy finally sees that she went way overboard with trying to keep Riley happy.

Joy makes it out of the chasm, but Bing Bong sacrifices himself and fades into oblivion. Joy tries to get Sadness to come back with her, but Sadness thinks Riley doesn't need her and just cries her eyes out and runs away from Joy. Soon enough, Joy is flung into the air and grabs Sadness and the two make it back to HQ, just as Riley is about to run away.

The others tell Joy to handle Riley's problem, but Joy tells that it's now up to Sadness to save Riley. After Sadness successfully removes the idea, the console becomes operative again. Joy then hands the core memories to Sadness, who turns them all sad and places them in the core memory holder. At first, Sadness is unsure and nervous because she has never done this before, but Joy assures her otherwise. Riley comes home and the sad memories help her tell her parents how she really feels about her new life in San Francisco and that she misses Minnesota.

Just then, a new core memory materializes - it's both yellow and blue (which creates Melancholy). Joy and Sadness hold hands on the new core memory and finally become a team and the best of friends.

Riley's First Date?[]

Sadness and the other emotions appear in this new short, where they help Riley when her friend, Jordan (a boy Riley met at the end of the film) comes over for a visit.

Video games[]


Sadness appears in Disney INFINITY's third installment as a playable character.

Disney Parks[]


Joy and Sadness have a meet-n-greet area near the Art of Animation exhibitions at Hong Kong Disneyland for a limited time during the coolest summer ever event in 2015. They are currently the only Inside Out characters to appear at Disney Parks.


The Disney Wiki and Disney Fan Fiction Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Sadness.


  • According to Pete Docter, her appearance is based on that of a teardrop.
    • This can be seen in Abstract Thought, as during the fourth stage, Joy and Sadness were reduced to a shape and color - Sadness was a blue teardrop and Joy was a yellow star.
  • Sadness is the only emotion that wears a head accessory, that being her glasses.
  • In an early draft for the film, Sadness wasn't originally going to get lost with Joy in Riley's mind, but instead, her role would have been given to Fear.
  • Phyllis Smith, Sadness' voice actress, was chosen for the role after Jonas Rivera, Inside Out's producer, noticed her performance in the 2011 film Bad Teacher.
  • Sadness is a fan of tragic romance stories and points to Tragic Vampire Romance Island as her personal favorite.
  • Sadness' personality is similar to that of Eeyore.


Media: Inside Out

Emotions: Joy | Sadness | Anger | Disgust | Fear | Mother's Emotions | Father's Emotions
Humans: Riley Anderson | Riley's Mother | Riley's Father | Meg | Mr. Haukus
Other: Bing Bong

Locations: Minnesota | San Francisco

Objects: Memory Orbs

Music: Sweet Emotion