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A Definitive List of the Emojis That Need to Die Right Now

Why are there so many clocks????

Apple is announcing yet another set of new emojis. The 70 symbols coming to iOS12 this fall include superheroes, a cupcake, a kangaroo, a mooncake, redheads, and folks with gray hair, among others. These new emojis get chosen annually by the Unicode Consortium, a group that considers proposals from anyone who submits—which can make them slightly more inclusive—before whittling the list down to 50-100.


This process has created a glut of emoji: 2,500 is just too goddamn many, and eventually we're just going to be wading through a sea of so many little random symbols it will be impossible to find new ones that we like.

Here's a list of emojis that should be excised. Unicode Consortium, I hope you're listening:

The clock emojis

I know I'm not alone when I say clocks are bad. People are so caught up in arguing about why smartphones are bad, streaming is bad, virtual reality is bad that they overlook the shittiness of one of our oldest modern technologies. William Faulkner wrote, "Clocks slay time. Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life."

As if to prove Faulkner's point, the clock emoji can only be used to cause stress. It's a reminder of impending deadlines, an apology for tardiness, or literally communicating the exact time it is right now. The most annoying thing about this damn scrap of Unicode is that there's not just one, there's a whole damn page of them you have to scroll through. Why do we need an emoji for every single hour and half hour of the day, plus the watch, alarm clock, clock tower, and hourglass emoji? If the Unicode Consortium is trimming the fat, the clocks are a cut that would do a world of good for the anxiously texting masses.
Beckett Mufson, staff writer

All the non-knife/sword emojis

There are three emojis that matter—the knife, the sword, and the crossed swords. Any and all emotions can be contained in those three. Everything else pales in comparison to the beauty of the blade.
Eve Peyser, staff writer



Isn’t the point of the smartphone that we don’t have to use these anymore?

The fucking shape emojis

I imagine many people have gone to the flag emoji section during the World Cup in search of a way to demonstrate their sudden interest in sending Croatian flags to their friends. On their way to that section they have had to cross the frozen wasteland of pointless shapes. Maybe you could argue for a check mark emoji—but why are there two? How many people have used the dollar-to-yen conversion emoji? Why are there arithmetic symbols that are ALREADY IN ASCII? Then the squares. Who has ever used one of the black square emoji? Who is going, Hey this gray square is good but it needs to be slightly bigger? No, not that big, we need a MEDIUM grey square. Phew, thankfully we have one! What is even the POSSIBLE purpose of the diamond emoji? Why were the squares inside of squares emoji created? Is this the emoji equivalent of abstract impressionism? Is it meant to make us reconsider the content of emoji and imagine them not as ways to communicate language but as symbols with no meaning, as mere pixels that contain no information beyond what is assigned to them arbitrarily by cultural context? If so, good job. If not, get rid of ‘em already.
–Harry Cheadle, senior editor

Silhouette of Japan

Just because Japan invented emojis doesn’t mean it should get its own icon. The rest of us have flags and that’s good enough.


People with disappointed expressions

The emoticon-like emoji convey emotions, and the human forms convey specific body language, so why do these exist? In what world are you scrolling past these smileys to find something grafted onto a human being, especially when those options are "slightly disappointed" and "very disappointed"?

The Unimportant Moons

Nobody but meteorologists and people who take their astrology beliefs past socially acceptable levels gives a shit about the waxing and waning of the moon, Unicode. You can keep full, new, crescent, and the ones with faces that have come to signify creepiness or racism, but the rest gotta go. Maybe use some of that cleared up space to give us an eclipse.
–Justin Caffier, contributor

Physical mailboxes

Why are you using an emoji to tell someone you’re sending them a letter? Why do you need so many different mailboxes? If you are mailing people letters—which is a great thing to do—surprise them. Keep your snail mail and texting conversations separate!

So many versions of a family

What about families with three kids? What about families with no parents? Who the hell can tell what the family composition is at emoji size anyway?

Kissing face

I don’t know if the team who made the Emojis were virgins or something but this is not how you kiss.
Peter Slattery, social media editor

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