Tumblr meme and fandom expert Amanda Brennan noticed something weird on the site yesterday — a sudden bubbling up of posts reviewing derivations of popular emoji as they appear on various platforms and apps. There are even whole blogs dedicated to nothing else.
Take, for example, an octopus. The emoji interpretation of what an octopus with a happy face looks like differs slightly if you’re using services operated by Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, HTC, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Which one is the best? No one knows, but here are one person’s highly subjective opinions:
Brennan told The Verge via Twitter DM she’d never seen emoji reviews trend on Tumblr before, but was later able to find the very first emoji reviews on the site — one blogger briefly discussed Apple’s flushed face and wind chime emoji in 2012 and never posted again.
All of the current reviews follow the longer, more elaborate structure, originating from a review of 11 different horse emoji posted in early January. That one was spun off into a much more popular post combining the review structure with the pre-existing Bee Movie meme. From there, the format quickly amassed a small but enthusiastic following, and the most popular posts rack up tens of thousands of likes and reblogs. Including some from yours truly!
The idea of analyzing emoji is not new — there have been whole studies dedicated to their use, and the blog Emojinalysis, which gave horoscope-inspired readings based on the recently-used emoji submitted by readers, went viral in 2014. Apple’s fall 2016 emoji updates were widely despised and frequently dissected. But this is the first comprehensive, crowd-sourced review of all emoji, all at once.
One review of Apple’s spaghetti emoji rates it a 7 out of 10, noting, “A classic, nice simple sauce, would eat this no problem. Probably tastes pure and the kids would love it.” Nice! However, another reviewer gave Apple’s bird emoji a 0 out of 5 (the numeric scale has not yet been standardized, it seems), stating, “Pure evil. Excessive gradients only intensify his evil intentions. There is no sweetness in this child of darkness.” Yet another points out that Apple’s unicorn has a neck rash.
Google’s lion emoji gets a perfect 5 out of 5: “A good lion friend. Very simplistic and clean. You can trust him.” So does its baby chick emoji: “She looks so determined!! Where is she going? What is she thinking about? I bet she’s gonna do something really important.” But you can’t win them all. Google’s pancakes get a 4 out of 10 because the butter pat on top is too big and that made the reviewer “uncomfortable.”
The ram emoji was reviewed by a “ram expert.” That one is really good. Somehow all of the dragon emoji that exist received scores of 10 out of 10. That doesn’t make sense to me, considering the LG dragon only has one leg. But as I said, the blog posts are highly subjective. That doesn’t mean they aren’t useful.
They’re particularly useful if you’re just looking for a little chuckle at your desk this morning. Isn’t that what you need? For me: yes, 10 out of 10.