Fear, Anger. Sadness, Joy and Disgust in Inside Out 2
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Here’s Why One of ‘Inside Out’s Best Characters Isn’t in the Sequel

As Inside Out 2 takes viewers on another adventure through Riley’s (Kensington Tallman) mind, some may wonder where Bing Bong (Richard Kind) is.

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In the original Inside Out, Bing Bong played a vital role in Joy’s (Amy Poehler) mission to help Riley, and he had one of the most heartbreaking exits of any Pixar character. Inside Out follows Joy, who is disconcerted by the arrival of Sadness (Phyllis Smith) in Riley’s mind, as she believes the girl should only experience happiness. As Joy and Sadness grapple for control, they wreak havoc in Riley’s mind, causing her to lose core memories and the ability to feel happy or sad. The emotions end up in the deepest recesses of the girl’s mind and must work their way back up to the control center. Along the way, Joy meets Bing Bong, Riley’s kind but largely forgotten imaginary friend.

Here’s what happened to Bing Bong before Inside Out‘s sequel.

Bing Bong’s story had a heartbreaking ending in Inside Out

In Inside Out, Joy and Sadness come across Bing Bong wandering around in Riley’s long-term memory. He’s pink, mostly made out of cotton candy, and has an elephant trunk and cat whiskers. Although he delighted Riley when she was a child, she had largely outgrown him by age four. As a result, he lost his job as her imaginary friend and was forced to wander around the deeper areas of her mind, where he enjoyed collecting random happy memories. Joy soon promises to find him work if he helps her and Sadness get back to headquarters.

He leads them to Riley’s Train of Thought, hoping to ride straight through her mind to the headquarters. However, they hit a few bumps in the road, and Bing Bong admits his struggles with feeling sad that he can’t make Riley happy anymore. Eventually, the chaotic state of the girl’s mind leads to Bing Bong and Joy falling into the Memory Dump: a deep chasm where faded memories go and eventually disappear.

Given that Bing Bong was already partially forgotten by Riley, he quickly finds himself starting to fade. He tries to use his trusty rocket wagon to free himself and Joy from the chasm, but they can’t get it to go high enough. Finally, Bing Bong has an idea. As he and Joy launch off in the wagon, he jumps out of it, lightening the load and allowing it to reach the top. Unfortunately, he is left stuck in the Memory Dump. Joy rushes back to the chasm’s edge, but Bing Bong urges her, “Go! Go save Riley!” He has a final request for Joy, asking her to take Riley “to the moon” for him before he fades away from the girl’s memory forever.

It’s a heartbreaking ending that illustrates Bing Bong’s deep devotion to Riley and her happiness. He was willing to sacrifice himself to ensure that Joy would return to the headquarters and save the girl. Unfortunately, Inside Out 2 confirms that Bing Bong’s disappearance was permanent, as he does not make a physical appearance. It’s understandable he wouldn’t reappear as he was essentially wiped from existence, and his reappearance in the sequel would’ve rendered his part in Inside Out less emotionally impactful.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.