spoilers ahead

In the movie Inside Out, there comes a times towards the end when the emotion Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) and Riley's imaginary friend Bing Bong (voiced by Richard Kind) fall into the memory dump.

Memory Dump is the place where memories evaporate away into non-existence. As Bing Bong and Joy try to use Bing Bong's wagon to fly back to higher grounds, we see that Bing Bong is slowly but steadily evaporating away i.e. he's being forgotten as well.

So why is it that Joy is intact and not fading away like everything in memory dump is?

2 Answers 2


This is mostly speculation since there really isn't any way to find evidence to back this up.

Bing Bong is an imaginary friend and a memory of Riley's past. Memories fade with time and eventually evaporate in the memory dump. Joy on the other hand is an emotion, it would stand to reason that emotions don't follow the same rules as memories, and don't fade away even when dumped into the memory dump.

It's also been clear that Riley hadn't thought about Bing Bong for a while (Joy mentioned that it's been years since she's seen him), meanwhile up until recent events in the movie, Joy has been the lead emotion of Riley. So even if she became a memory of herself she would still be a fresh memory.

That being said, it is equally possible that if Joy was left in the memory dump longer, she might have begun to fade.


Because Joy isn't a memory, she is an emotion. The memory dump is used to dispose of old, unused memories that are no longer required, and we learn in Inside Out that Bing Bong has been all but forgetten by Riley anyway, thanks to the fact that she is growing up.

As such, he begins to fade away in the memory dump as Riley is forgetting him, but Joy cannot be forgotten as she is an emotion.

It's also worth pointing out that Inside Out is more allegorical than any other Pixar film to date, so it might not be worth thinking about the parts inside Riley's mind too hard as it is intended to pass on a message, not as a solid piece of world building.

  • And so you are implying, as I understand, that emotions can't be forgotten. That they are inherent to humans. But then why has Bing Bong been hanging around. Why hasn't he been thrown in the memory dump by those cleanup guys. It isn't as if he's too smart to evade them.
    – HindK
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:22
  • @HindK Yes, I do not belive that in the context of Inside Out that emotions can be forgotten. Bing Bong is neither an emotion nor a memory, but being as he is the only imaginary friend that we see we don't have anything to compare him to - but I think it is safe to assume that he CAN be forgotten, but has more autonomy than the spherical objects that are memories. Again though, Inside Out is pure allegory, so the logic of this doesn't really matter. Aug 4, 2015 at 13:34
  • :/ Logic does matter very much. The film is description of how mind works. For a while Joy was as well as none existent for Riley. I'm afraid that if she didn't get out of there, it would also show what can happen to people and if she faded out ultimately, it also would...
    – Mithoron
    Sep 10, 2020 at 22:00

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