The slightly smiling emoji is the most menacing emoji

Emoji Council, we need to talk.

And I address you as a Council because that’s exactly what you are, and I looked into joining but it was very expensive. This is not important right now, we have greater things to discuss.

I have a problem with the slightly smiling emoji. This one: 🙂

You know the one, it pops up automatically when you type ‘:)’ on slack, even though its full name is slightly_smiling_face.

Look, Council. It’s really, really menacing.

The eyes, dead, emotionless, blank. The smile, slightly raised, but not enough to put anybody at ease.


And it’s not just me who thinks that. People have made memes!


Image Description: A meme where Spongebob is smiling, and behind him are the ghosts of anguish. Caption: When I use the slightly smiling face emoji, this is what I mean
Image Description: The slightly smiling face emoji sits below text that reads “I love this emoji. Is it happy? Is it lowkey pissed? Is it planning to kill you? Is it tired of your shit? You never know

The dread that fills your stomach when you have sent something to your manager for approval and her reply is 🙂. Truly harrowing. One time, somebody I didn’t know ended a message to me with 🙂 and I still think about it on a regular basis.

The smile, too slight to really be a smile, is not what I mean when I say :).

When I say :) I mean very happy! I mean 😄 or, at the very least, 😃.

I want my smiley to not evoke the feeling of murderous intentions from the sender. I want my smiley to be happy, to communicate joy.

I want the slightly smiling emoji to be slightly more smiley, please, Council.

Thank you for reading


British lass in Canada, writing about politics, pop culture, feminism, class, being a millennial, telly, and myself. Tweet me @blerhgh

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