luxo jr.
Rileys emotions are 2 genders, and wear different clothes! Everyone else has same gender emotions. Why Riley? One theory claims that she is just machureing still. But we see that the boy she bumps into has all boy emotions, unlike Riley. So that must mean he is more mature than she is. Which leaves the question. As kids mature do their emotions change gender? Will anger just morph into a female one day? And where would they get the new clothes?
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It has nothing to do with maturity, or anything in-universe. Docter didn't think people could follow where we were if he didn't throw out continuity and make everyone else's emotions different.

That's the official explanation.

With mom and dad, we skewed them all male and all female for a quick read, because you have to understand where we are...

It's kind of funny that his attempt to avoid confusion just ended up causing more confusion but now has the side effect of an illogical universe.
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luxo jr.
That's not what I meant. I knew that already. There's always why the animators and people making the film did it, but I want to know how it happened in the universe itself.
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That was the official explanation for why it happened. It's not like there's a separate explanation for how it fits into the Inside Out universe. But if you want one, here's my unofficial explanation of how it possibly works:

Everything that happens within the mind is an metaphor for the chemical processes in our brains that run our emotions and memories. It's not like there's actually little people running around in there.

The film takes place from Joy's point of view, so Riley's head is fully fleshed out with a varied assortment of emotions that all look different.

However, since it's a metaphor, there are opportunities for exaggeration and abstraction.

So when we look into Mom, Dad, and the boy, it's still from Joy's point of view - we just get a simplified crew of emotions for other characters where they all look the same somehow, because Joy can't actually see the other emotions, she can only see the other people. She can see Dad, but not Dad's emotions - so all of Dad's emotions look like Dad. Same for Mom and the other characters.

Additionally, the Headquarters rooms in characters other than Riley are more simplistic and not as fully developed, because the finer details are insignificant and irrelevant - they're only significant and relevant in Riley's head, because it's from Joy's point of view, it's where she lives and operates, and it's where the story takes place.

That's my unofficial rationalization of how it works. There is no official theory on how it fits into the universe, but you don't really need one if everything is supposed to be just an imagination in your head.
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Gray Catbird
I usually think of it along the same lines of Reptile Patrol. Perhaps the mind doesn't actually look like what we see on-screen, and that the apparent simplicity of other emotions/headquarters compared to Riley's would be a consequence of the fact we are spending more time in Riley's mind, therefore being able to see more subtleties...

On the other hand, Riley's First Date? seems to suggest that Dad's emotions and headquarters are really like that, since he's the main character and his emotions don't really change from how they were in the film.
And meanwhile the different appearance of Riley's mind is quite jarring when it cameos for 10 seconds... :/
I was really hoping that Riley's First Date would at least put in a female emotion in Jordan's mind... But unfortunately nothing suggest they did.

I guess the theory luxo jr. brings up makes more sense, even though I am not too fond of the idea, because of the thought that all the great diversity we see in Riley's mind would be doomed. [frown] Plus Jordan definitively looks more immature than Riley to me... But it could explain why the emotions of Mom and Dad act less extreme and more as a unified voice, if they have crystallized to a very specific mindset.

Another possible theory would be that it's just random variation, and that somehow everyone we saw save for Riley happened to have emotions of the same gender as themselves... Totally makes sense statistically speaking. [tongue]
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