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I'm Anxiety. I'm one of Riley's new emotions, and we are just super jazzed to be here! Where can I put my stuff?
~ Anxiety introducing herself to Riley's original emotions.
We all have a job to do. You make Riley happy, Sadness makes her sad, Fear protects her from the scary stuff she can see, and MY job is to protect her from the scary stuff she CAN’T see! I plan for the future.
~ Anxiety explaining her and the new emotions' involvement in Riley's life.
Joy... I'm sorry. I was just trying to protect her... But you’re right. We don’t get to choose who Riley is.
~ Anxiety's apology and redemption after realizing her mistakes in wanting to control Riley's life.

Anxiety is the main antagonist of Pixar's 28th full-length feature film Inside Out 2, the second installment of the Inside Out franchise.

She is Riley's sixth overall emotion and the first new emotion Riley experiences as a result of hitting puberty, with the other new emotions being Embarrassment, Ennui and Envy.

While she bottles up Riley's old emotions and kicks them out of headquarters, the other emotions make her see the error of her ways and they all come to a mutual understanding of each other.

She was voiced by Maya Hawke, who also portrays Robin Buckley from the Netflix original series Stranger Things.


She has orange spiky hair and jaded green eyes. She also wears a long-sleeved shirt with orange and white stripes, brown pants held up by a black belt with a gold buckle, and brown shoes.


Like its namesake, Anxiety is shown to be a nervous emotion. She's extremely anxious about meeting preexisting emotions like Joy, especially because she wants to make a good first impression. Because her role is to protect Riley from things she "can't see", she is also an intense planner, predicting everything that can go wrong so that she can find a way to avoid them. Everything must go exactly as it must happen as she had planned, with every mistake being seen as something that may "haunt" her later.

During her first appearance she is described to be highly energetic, zealous, and a typical geek filled with excitement towards working with the original five emotions. Similar to Fear, Anxiety is prone to overthinking things, though to a larger extent. While Fear's overthinking is a reaction to a perceived threat that soon disappears once that threat is out of sight, Anxiety projects those fears, leading her to try to think of any scenario that can go wrong, even if they are not a reality. This is showed on her overplanning regarding Riley's future on high school, leading her to pressure the girl to do everything she could to get a spot on the hockey team of her future high school and blend in with the older girls. However, none of this is out of malice as her intent was to protect Riley from being alone in high school.

Despite being self-aware and extremely analytical, Anxiety is not without her limits. Her extreme overthinking and insecurities can blind her judgment causing her to put past her limits and forget what was truly important. Her hardworking and ambitious nature is overshadowed by her restlessness and self-destructive mindset, shown through Riley's feelings of inadequacy through Anxiety's driving. The more Anxiety kept adding to Riley's Sense of Self about trying to become good enough to make the team, the more Riley felt that she really was not good enough, until it became a reality to her, leading to both Riley and Anxiety to have an anxiety attack.

Similar to Joy in the first movie, Anxiety is also a control-freak, wanting nothing but to be in control of everything in Riley's life, hating when she is placed on the backseat of the controls, especially if that strays away from her plans. However, she is willing to get rid of everything she sees as unnecessary and/or dangerous to what she perceives as being the right thing for Riley, being extremely pragmatic about it, even if she has to "bottle up" the old emotions or reinvent Riley's entire sense of self. The more Anxiety tried to change things into what she believed to be Riley's best self, she would take even more control over everything, even if was too much for her to handle, until the point she got stuck into her own feelings of anxiety.

After Joy was able to convince her to let go of her control over Riley, Anxiety was able to see how her desire to shape Riley into what she perceived to be the best version of by any means necessary was really just hurting her. Not only that, but, with a little help from Joy's positivity, she also learned to let go of the worries Riley didn't have control on, focusing only on the ones she did.

By the end of the movie, she still worries about what could happen, but with Joy and the other emotions help, she learned to be less controlling, and more helpful.


Inside Out 2[]

Anxiety first shows up after the base is being renovated following Riley going through puberty. From there, Anxiety and the other new emotions introduce themselves to Joy and the other emotions. Anxiety, concerned with Riley's well-being decides to have Embarrassment bottle up Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear, locking them up in the back of her mind thereafter and throwing away Riley's Sense of Self. Throughout the film, Anxiety changes up Riley's sense of self by spurring the belief that being a Firehawk will prevent Riley from being alone.

Anxiety then goes into Riley's imagination in order to create scenarios that would validate this belief, causing her to overthink, as she wanted to prevent Riley from making any potential mistakes, going as far as making Riley wake up early in the morning to make her practice for the game more.

By the final day of training, Anxiety had completed Riley's new Sense of Self, which causes her to think that she isn't good enough, a belief which is only fueled even more when Riley looks into the Coach's journal, which records whether or not all of the players are ready to compete, stating that she feels that Riley isn't ready yet. At this point, Anxiety prioritized Riley completing the final test much more.

Anxiety pressured Riley to score three goals to the point that Riley ignores her teammates, and even harms another one at the ice rink. Because of this, Riley was sent to the penalty box, causing her distress. When Anxiety realizes her mistake, she tries to fix it, only to give Riley a panic attack, which was only thwarted by Joy's intervention, who told her to let go of Riley.

By the end of the movie, Anxiety is still in headquarters, overthinking whether or not Riley was going to get accepted into the team, and Joy calming her down, telling her to focus on things that cannot be controlled, such as exams and other important tasks. Anxiety now coexists peacefully with the other emotions.


Oh, my gosh. I am just such a huge fan of yours. And now here I am, meeting you, face to face. (excited squeal) Okay, how can I help? I can take notes, get coffee, manage your calendar, walk your dog, carry your things, watch you sleep.
Anything. Just call my name, and I'm here for you.
Oh, I'm sorry. I can get ahead of myself. Uh, I'm Anxiety. I'm one of Riley's new emotions, and we are just super jazzed to be here. Where can I put my stuff?
That's Embarrassment. He's not really big on eye contact, or uh, like talking, but he's a really sweet guy.
That's not gonna haunt us for the rest of our lives at all.
I know change is scary, but we need new friends or we'll be totally alone in high school. Out with the old, in with the new.
I am truly sorry. I was so looking forward to working with you guys.
Riley's life is more complex now. It requires more sophisticated emotions than all of you. You’re just aren’t what she needs anymore, Joy.
~ Anxiety betraying Joy and the old emotions.
It's not forever, it's just until Riley makes Varsity or until she turns 18 or-or maybe forever? I don't know we'll have to see! Uh, bye!
Don’t worry, Riley. You’re in good hands. Now’ let’s change everything about you.
~ Anxiety beginning her plan.
~ Anxiety.
We need to be prepared! Oh, no!
~ Anxiety.
Envy: You hurt Grace!
Anxiety: I-it all happened so fast! I didn’t even see her.
~ Anxiety being scolded by Envy after she unintentionally led Riley hurt Grace.
Oh no, what did I do?
~ Anxiety showing remorse for her actions.
You have to score Riley, or this will have been for nothing!
~ Anxiety pressuring Riley during her anxiety attack.



  • She is the third main antagonist in a Pixar film to be female, with the first two being Evelyn Deavor from Incredibles 2 and Gabby Gabby from Toy Story 4.
  • She is Maya Hawkes' first animated role.
  • Anxiety serves as a foil to Joy, displaying what she could've been if she only allowed certain emotions to be incorporated in Riley's mind (something that nearly happened in the first film).

External Links[]


           Inside Out logo Heroes

Joy | Sadness | Fear | Disgust | Anger | Anxiety | Envy | Ennui | Embarrassment

Bing Bong | Imaginary Boyfriends | Bloofy | Pouchy | Lance Slashblade | Deep Dark Secret