Top Five Worst Emoji Ever

Autostraddle 5th B'day_Cats plus changes_Rory Midhani_640px (1)
We’re celebrating Autostraddle’s Fifth Birthday all month long by publishing a bunch of Top Fives. This is one of them!

5. Pig Snout

I just did some research and read that pork is the most popular meat in Japan; in fact, pig products are consumed nearly as much as chicken and beef combined.  Maybe this is a good explanation for why there are three pig-related emoji, one full-body pig, one pig face, and one pig snout.  There is some other animal-related emoji overlap – two sheep, for example, three different cows, three dogs, two mice and a rat, but none are as random and unnecessary as the pig snout.  No other animal (besides the human being) has a specifically dedicated emoji for a singular body part quite like this, and I cannot fathom why it exists in the first place.  When’s the last time you had a conversation about a pig snout?


4. Tears Of Joy 

At least that’s what Emojipedia says this is.  To me, it’s always read as “stabbing myself in the eyes with shards of glass,” which come to think of it is a pretty useful emoji.


3. Meat On A Bone

The amount of time spent wondering exactly what part of a mystery animal this orange band of meat could possibly even be connected to renders this emoji just unfortunate and gross, sorry.


2. Sweet Potato

The only reason I know this is a sweet potato is because I looked it up.  First of all, how often do you talk about sweet potatoes?  Like, just half of one?  Let’s take a really realistic look at all the other foods we talk about that could replace it – an avocado maybe, or a hunk of cheese, or a goddamn taco.  Secondly, this thing doesn’t even really look like a sweet potato.  I used to describe it as the “tamarind-looking thing,” or it could be a nut, but it definitely doesn’t look appetizing and it does not belong here.


1. Oni

Apparently this dude is some kind of yōkai in Japanese folklore, but I’m having a really hard time working him into casual conversation.


If you enjoy this, don’t miss the companion piece, Top Five Best Emoji Ever.

Header Image by Rory Midhani

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Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 464 articles for us.


  1. I suggest using pig’s snout when somebody pushes themselves into clearly not their own business. With a comment 30 secs later ‘if a hypothetical someone doesn’t retract their snout, it will get slammed in the door.’

    • Definitely a sweet potato. When I lived in Japan, there was a truck that wound drive around my neighborhood in the winter blasting, “yaaaaakiiii imooooooo, oishiiiiiiii!” (sweet potatoes, delicious). Seriously blasting out loud. They sold roasted sweet potatoes. It was adorable but also really annoying.

  2. Also there are locks, notebooks, shishkabobs, multiple hospitals, road signs, random shapes including tiny diamonds, twins in leotards, several yellow cat faces, some racist-feeling human faces, and one face that looks like a snot rocket is happening….. But there is no skeptical, one-eyebrow-raised face. All I want to do is give some side-eye, guys. All I want is a skeptical emoticon.

  3. You guys are making me feel like an oldby because I have never seen any of these before.

    I did, however, download the Line app briefly, and a weird thing I noticed was that all the sleeping characters in the emoji sets had a snot drip coming out of their nose. All of them. Why?

      • But… but that is even more mystifying. I have never ever seen an actual sleeping person with a snot bubble coming out of their nose. Have I somehow missed out on a phenomenon commonplace enough to become a cultural shorthand? Does this happen more often in Japan than other countries? I am befuzzled.

  4. the worst most entirely useless emoji hands down is this stupid motherfucker

    when in the hell will i EVER need this??! am i going to a board meeting with restroom placard models? maybe entering the witness protection program?


  5. All of the emojis are white people, with like two, vaguely racist exceptions, which I think is wack. Also I use the pig snout in concert with the tractor when I’m describing the “hamtractor” machine at my gym, which I think is hilarious. Those are my two thoughts about emojis. Oh also that there should be an emoji that symbolizes scrolling through the perplexingly categorized emojis to find the appropriate one and never ever remembering where things are.

    • The fact that nearly all the emojis are white really bothers me. The fact that there are a couple racist stereotype ones bother me even more.

      I have feelings about finding racism in seemingly innocuous places, feelings that are too complicated to be expressed in these emojis.

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