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The 72 New Emoji, Ranked

The definitive, arbitrary ranking of the latest additions to our pictorial vocabularies.

by Emanuel Maiberg
Jun 5 2016, 4:00pm

Earlier this week, the Unicode Consortium's Unicode Technical Committee, the organization that standardizes how symbols are encoded into text, announced that it has approved 72 new emoji.

The new emoji were submitted for approval last year, and are scheduled for release this month, meaning you'll probably be able to use them on your iPhone with the next iOS update.

72 emoji is a lot to process. Which of these are just filler, and which are poised to take internet culture by storm?

In what was absolutely a good use of my time, I've assembled the definitive, arbitrary ranking of these latest additions to our pictorial vocabularies.

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72. U+1F935 MAN IN TUXEDO

The only reason this emoji exists is because there's already a bride emoji. You're only going to see this used on lame wedding invitations that you don't want to go to. That alone makes it the worst new emoji of the bunch.

71. U+1F950 CROISSANT

The only way this emoji works is if you pair it with the French flag emoji, and even then, what would you use it for other than saying you're enjoying a nice, flaky croissant? Useless.

70. U+1F98A FOX FACE

Most animal emoji are too specific and rarely used. Also, the wolf emoji on iOS already looks like a fox, so this will create a redundancy for millions of iPhone users.

69. U+1F990 SHRIMP

I feel like this emoji would get used a lot more if it was a cooked shrimp. Like, "let's go get a U+1F990 cocktail!" But I doubt most of my friends even know what a whole shrimp even looks like.

68. U+1F987 BAT

You could use this when you're texting about Batman because you like bad movies, I guess?

67. U+1F98C DEER

See note above about animal emoji. I imagine that this one will be very popular with the hunting crowd. As in, hey, let's meet up this weekend for some beers and shoot a U+1F98C.

66. U+1F98D GORILLA

Whoa, I'm not even ready for this. Way too political.

65. U+1F98F RHINOCEROS

… animal emoji are usually dumb but the rhino emoji is the less offensive because rhinos are cool. Also, I imagine that the rhino emoji can be deployed as some kind of double entendre.

64. U+1F91A RAISED BACK OF HAND

Huh? What are you even talking about? When am I ever showing someone the back of my hand? I would understand if it was in a slapping motion, as in backhanding someone, but this doesn't even make sense.

63. U+1F988 SHARK

An animal emoji, but at least it's a cool one.

62. U+1F959 STUFFED FLATBREAD

First of all, call it a pita, or lavash, or something specific. Second of all, this looks like the kind of veggie wrap I'd get in a Safeway deli and is culturally offensive to me.

61. U+1F6D1 OCTAGONAL SIGN

Am I supposed to paint my own meaning into this sign? Is it just for fans of geometry and octagons specifically? This is what we in the biz like to call a "bad emoji."

60. U+1F94B MARTIAL ARTS UNIFORM

This would be a fine emoji if it was of a person wearing a gi. In fact, it would kind of kick ass in allowing me to express my intention and ability to kicks ass. But I don't know what I'm supposed to do with an emoji of an empty gi. This is a yellow belt-grade emoji.

59. U+1F98E LIZARD

The only logical explanation for including this useless emoji in the new update is that Geico, the auto-insurance company with its gecko mascot, is bribing members of the Unicode Technical Committee.

58. U+1F953 BACON

Look, I like to eat bacon just as much as the next guy, but bacon is easily the most overplayed food on the internet. We need less digital bacon, not more.

57. U+1F928 SHOPPING TROLLEY

I would appreciate an emoji that conveys the concept of shopping, but is this really the best we could do? For such a fun activity, it lacks pizzazz.

56. U+1F98B BUTTERFLY

Next time you need to get a bad tattoo just pull out your phone and show your tattoo artist this emoji.

55. U+1F93A FENCER

Fencing is the daintiest form of combat. I also just don't see how you're going to use this one unless you're one of the four people on the planet who's super into fencing.

54. U+1F958 SHALLOW PAN OF FOOD

I love food emoji, which are generally an under-served category, but "shallow pan of food" is just about the softest, most uncommitted food I can think of. If it was a shakshuka emoji, for example, that would be great, but at this point I'm not sure what kind of food I'm supposed to be communicating to my friends here and hence will never use it.

53. U+1F957 GREEN SALAD

Oh look I found the only other food that's more boring and unspecific than a shallow pan of food: It's a generic salad.

52. U+1F941 DRUM WITH DRUMSTICKS

I guess if it was a full drum set that would be cool, but this particular drum emoji I imagine is only useful to kids in marching bands.

51. U+1F6F4 SCOOTER

The lowest form of transportation and a useless emoji. I suppose I would be able to use it if I saw a friend riding a scooter, like so: "hahaha nice U+1F6F4 you dork."

50. U+1F6F5 MOTOR SCOOTER

This is slightly less offensive, but please see above comment.

49. U+1F936 MOTHER CHRISTMAS

Gentiles get a Father Christmas AND a Mother Christmas but (((I))) don't get even one lousy Elijah the prophet emoji. Typical.

48. U+1F95E PANCAKES

I love pancakes, but you'll notice a theme here: food emoji are best when they can be used to say something else (see: eggplant), but a stack of pancakes is just a stack of pancakes.

47. U+1F934 PRINCE

The Prince emoji loses points because it's not an emoji for the artist formerly known as Prince. It's a shame because it's really hard to convey Prince's iconic logo via unicode, and an emoji would easily solve that problem.

46. U+1F927 SNEEZING FACE

I have terrible allergies, so I could see myself using this one every spring, but the problem here is the iOS version of the emoji, which doesn't look like sneezing at all. Come back to me with this one when it looks more like the Google Hangouts version.

45. U+1F5A4 BLACK HEART

Okay so from here on out the new emoji get pretty good, starting with this black heart. I'm not sure how exactly I'm going to use it yet, but I appreciate the Unicode Technical Committee catering to my goth tendencies.

44. U+1F94A BOXING GLOVE

Wanting to punch things is a commen sentiment on the internet, and a boxing glove is not the worst way to share that feeling.

43. U+1F925 LYING FACE

It would be better to have a "bullshit" emoji, but short of that, this is probably the easiest to tell your friends you think they're lying.

42. U+1F940 WILTED FLOWER

Another pretty goth emoji, and I can also see it being used to convey low-energy. Like this:

"How's work going for you today?"

"U+1F940."

41. U+1F991 SQUID

I will tolerate this one, but only because I'm a big fan of Splatoon.

40. U+1F95D KIWIFRUIT

If the eggplant emoji is a penis and the peach emoji is a butt, I think the "Kiwifruit" emoji can make for a fine stand-in for a butt hole.

39. U+1F95C PEANUTS

Speaking of the eggplant, check out these peanuts emoji, which also kind of look like a penis. Also, they're far from the only phallic new emoji.

38. U+1F955 CARROT

Kinda looks like a penis.

37. U+1F952 CUCUMBER

Looks like a penis.

36. U+1F956 BAGUETTE BREAD

Looks like a penis and potentially maybe even two penises.

35. U+1F951 AVOCADO

Probably also a pretty good lewd emoji in the right context...you know what it is.

34. U+1F947 FIRST PLACE MEDAL

There are already a couple of medal emoji, but I suppose you can use this one ironically. Like when someone tells you about a minor achievement and is expecting praise, just send them one of these.

33. U+1F949 THIRD PLACE MEDAL

Better yet, send them one of these.

32. U+1F949 SECOND PLACE MEDAL

This one's just sad.

31. U+1F944 SPOON

I don't know why, but the spoon emoji is vaguely threatening to me. Also, it's a great timesaver if you talk to your friends about the band Spoon a lot, which I do.

30. U+1F938 PERSON DOING CARTWHEEL

Use it like the upside down smiling emoji, but for a greater effect by displaying the whole body.

29. U+1F943 TUMBLER GLASS

It says "tumbler glass" but to me this seems more like whisky on the rocks, or maybe even an old fashioned. I'm glad that the Unicode consortium chose the best cocktail.

28. U+1F945 GOAL NET

The inclusion or exclusion of the ball here will make a big difference. First of all, the ball will indicate what kind of goal we're looking at. Is it a soccer game? Hockey? Lacrosse? If it's excluded, users will be able to pair it with existing ball emoji to cater to their sports preferences. Either way, a great emoji that will get a lot of action come World Cup 2018.

27. U+1F986 DUCK

I know I said I'm not a fan of animal emoji, but I'll make an exception for birds, Motherboard's preferred animal, starting with this cute duck. I'm not sure how I'll use it, but it's cute and sometimes that's enough.

26. U+1F989 OWL

Hell yeah:

The owl's wide eyes are great for when you see something really messed up.

25. U+1F985 EAGLE

And of course the majestic eagle, which after the American flag and gun, is now the third-most patriotic emoji.

24. U+1F57A MAN DANCING

Okay, yeah, sure. We have a dancing woman emoji and I hear that men dance too sometimes so this is probably a good idea.

23. U+1F920 FACE WITH COWBOY HAT

Country music is still incredibly popular, and while I don't really listen to it, I'm sure those people will find a way to use this one.

22. U+1F939 JUGGLING

A great workplace emoji, or just a way to tell friends that you have a lot of things going on at the moment.

21. U+1F942 CLINKING GLASSES

An elegant way to celebrate, whether you just got a new job or completely owned someone on the net.

20. U+1F93C WRESTLERS

A good way to make light of the situation when you see two people fighting on Twitter.

19. U+1F933 SELFIE

If it's good enough to be the word of 2013, it's good enough to be an emoji in 2016.

18. U+1F954 POTATO

Let's say you take a bad selfie, or in general, you see an image of very low quality. Now, you can simply use this emoji to say something is of "potato quality." Also, this emoji gets points because potatoes are delicious.

17. U+1F91D HANDSHAKE

I predict this emoji will get a lot of play, especially in professional settings. It's great way to end a conversation. When I agree on a course of action with a coworker I usually use the thumbs up. This seems like a more accurate and dignified way to say the same thing.

16. U+1F921 CLOWN FACE

I hate clowns. You hate clowns. I think it's safe to assume that most people hate clowns. They're creepy, and now, possibly the creepiest emoji on your phone.

15. U+1F923 ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING

I'm more of a "LMAO" person than a "ROFL" person, but it's great to see this early internet-speak acronym get recognized.

14. U+1F95B GLASS OF MILK

This one might not seem like much at first, but I think I can make it work if I use it when someone's being a crybaby. If someone on your timeline complaining about trivial things, send them a glass of milk, the prefered beverage of babies everywhere.

13. U+1F930 PREGNANT WOMAN

This seems like the most frictionless way to announce that you're having a baby. Just group text all your friends and family and send them this single emoji. If I ever have a kid, this is how I plan to do it.

12. U+1F922 NAUSEATED FACE

How was this not already an emoji?! We see gross things on the internet so often, and now, we can finally conveniently convey our disgust.

11. U+1F926 FACE PALM

The "face palm" is a common internet sentiment, and in my opinion, overused. However, if we're going to keep seeing it, better to do it with an emoji than spell it out.

10. U+1F91E HAND WITH INDEX AND MIDDLE FINGERS CROSSED

A great dual use emoji. You could use it to say that you're hoping something you wish for will happen or maybe put it behind another emoji to indicate that you don't really mean what you're saying.

9. U+1F6F6 CANOE

I doubt that this is what the Unicode Technical Committee intended, but it's obvious what people will use this one for: Twitter canoes (when a Twitter thread has a lot of people mentioned in it).

8. U+1F924 DROOLING FACE

This one can be used in so many ways: when you do something dumb, when you watch a really captivating gif, when an idiot slides into your mentions. The possibilities are endless.

7. U+1F937 SHRUG

This one is a no-brainer. No longer will we have to Google "shruggie" and end up on that Awl story to use this essential emoji.

6. U+1F95A EGG

I forsee this is a sleeper hit emoji. An egg is not just an egg, it is also a Twitter egg, meaning a person who's yet to change their default Twitter profile. If you ever did something to anger the masses on Twitter, you've probably seen a few of these come at you. Now we can refer to them with a single emoji!

5. U+1F91B LEFT-FACING FIST

Yes! Forget the high-five emoji. It's much better to send a left-facing fist, which of course would only result in a fist bump if someone responds with a:

4. U+1F91C RIGHT-FACING FIST

Now you have a fist bump.

3. U+1F93D WATER POLO

Nobody cares about water polo, but this emoji looks like a person dunking a ball. When you burn someone online, you can use the fire emoji. And now, when you dunk on someone, you can use this handy dunking emoji. This is very useful to me as a serial dunker.

2. U+1F93E HANDBALL

Again, no one cares about handball, but it looks like a person mid-dunk.

1. U+1F919 CALL ME HAND

This is it, the big winner in this latest emoji update. The name is misleading. Sure, you can use it to say "call me," but nobody is using their phone to make phone calls anymore. Clearly, this is much better used to throw up the shaka sign, which means "hang loose" among Hawaiians and surfers who wish they were Hawaiians.

As the shaka Wikipedia page explains, it is "a concept of friendship, understanding, compassion, and solidarity among the various ethnic cultures that reside in Hawaii, lacking a direct semantic to literal translation."

Beautiful, and just the kind of thing we need more of the internet.

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