riley holding a hockey stick in inside out 2

Riley Is on a Scary New Adventure in ‘Inside Out 2’

Inside Out 2 deals with a lot of complicated emotions like Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), and more. And they all come into Riley’s life at a time when her life is changing. No, I’m not just talking about the puberty alarm going off back at headquarters.

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Riley is a teenager. She’s 13 at the start of the movie and excited to play her last game with her hockey team, the Foghorns. It is summer vacation, and Riley is ready to spend three days of it at hockey camp with her friends as they try and impress the high school hockey coach of the Fire Hawks. Why? Well, Riley is about to start high school.

So asking what grade Riley is in in Inside Out 2 is surprisingly complicated. At the start of the movie (when Joy tells us that Riley hates homework), she is still in 8th grade, with Grace and Bree at her side. But as the movie goes on, we’re in the summer between middle school and high school, with Riley not knowing who she’ll be friends with when she goes to 9th grade.

Inside Out 2 has Riley focusing more on who she can be best friends with and she ignores her actual best friends (who admit to Riley that they’re going to a different school) because she’s afraid of being alone when she heads to high school after summer break. Luckily, the movie sets Riley up with a wonderful support system in the Fire Hawks that she met at camp, so even if she doesn’t get on the hockey team right away, she has them by her side to cheer her on.

But to answer the question of what grade Riley is in as simply as possible: She starts the movie in the 8th grade, spends most of the movie in three days of summer vacation, and then ends the movie as a freshman in high school!

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.