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Characters / The Emoji Movie

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Characters of the 2017 Sony animated film The Emoji Movie.

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    Gene Meh 

Voiced by: T.J. Miller (English)Foreign V As
The main character, a 😒 emoji that has the odd ability of changing expressions.
  • All the Other Reindeer: The other emojis treat him as an outcast after finding out his secret.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Has a thick brow shape which he gets from his parents.
  • Be Yourself: He learns this Aesop after going through his journey.
  • Childish Tooth Gap: Has a gap in his teeth.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Gene's "malfunction" (the ability to change faces) allows him to evade the bots by making himself look like a different emoji.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The creators implied that his secret is a metaphor for the trials and tribulations of gay people.
  • Establishing Character Moment: We are first introduced to him in his apartment in front of a mirror, singing while trying on different ties and flipping back and forth between the bored face he's supposed to make, and an excited face:
    Gene: I gotta be MEH! I gotta be MEH!
  • Freak Out: Experiences one when being scanned for the first time, causing a rather strange face to appear in Alex's text message and destroys the text center as a result.
  • The Generic Guy: Ironically, despite being defined by his ability to have more than one emotion, Gene has very little actual character.
  • The Hero: He is the main character of the film, and is treated as a hero when he saves the day from the trouble that he himself caused.
  • Heroic BSoD: He temporarily reverts to his apathetic programming out of heartbreak due to Jailbreak rejecting him.
  • Informed Kindness: Despite being the catalyst behind the plot in the first place, he's portrayed as a very well-meaning and kind fellow.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: His basic goal.
  • In the Blood: His ability to change expressions was actually brought down to him by Mel, who admits he was so ashamed by this that he spent his entire life trying to hide it, even from his own family.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Feminine Boy to Jailbreak's Masculine Girl.
  • Meaningful Name: He is named after a sequence of DNA or RNA serving as code for a number of molecules to function. In addition, the name "Gene" is English for "well born", which sets him up as the Fish out of Water amongst all other emojis.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Intentional or not, he is responsible for the film's conflict and the phone nearly getting erased, nearly dooming everyone in the phone.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Gene enters a Heroic BSoD because Jailbreak rejects his advances, in part because of his antiquated views of romance.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Hi-5's Manly Man.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Gene's quest to become a regular "Meh" emoji unintentionally lead to the near-destruction of the digital world.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Gene's special ability.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Part of his motivation to try and become a normal "Meh" emoji is to please his parents, particularly Mel.

Voiced by: Anna Faris (English)Foreign V As
A hacker emoji that assists Gene on his journey.
  • Berserk Button: Has some gender related hang-ups.
  • Brainy Brunette: Is very knowledgeable about the phone's coding, and has brunette hair under her wig.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Is incredibly cold toward Gene and especially Hi-5 early on, but she does warm up to them a little bit as the film progresses.
  • Dub Name Change: An interesting example in the Japanese dub: While keeping the same name from the original English version, her name is spelled as "Jail Break",note  being Jail her name, and Break her surname. This is probably done for avoid having to spell the name of something which is considered a criminal activity in a film geared for children in Japan.
  • I Can't Dance: Says this word-for-word while in the Just Dance app. Luckily, Gene teaches her how.
  • The Lancer: To Gene.
  • Love Interest: For Gene, who has a fairy-tale view of romance.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Masculine Girl to Gene's Feminine Boy.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She has this reaction when her rejection of Gene causing him to revert to a regular "Meh" out of heartbreak.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Takes off her hat and wig in Dropbox to reveal that she's a princess (👸) emoji before going to rescue Gene.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Originally a princess emoji, she despises the gender roles associated with them. This causes her to define her life in opposition to femininity, even down to rejecting romance. She seems to revert back to the exact opposite role by the film's end.
  • Soapbox Sadie: She doesn't take kindly to female stereotypes and lectures Gene and Hi-5 for their insensitivity on this throughout the film.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Akiko Glitter's Girly Girl.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Her usual hairstyle.
  • True Blue Femininity: Has blue hair, wears blue makeup and has a blue bracelet, and her princess crown has a blue jewel.
  • You Go, Girl!: She even calls out Gene multiple times due to apparently not believing in her abilities.

Voiced by: James Corden (English)Foreign V As

A ✋ emoji who serves as a partner for Gene on his journey.

  • Attention Whore: His motive is to become a popular Emoji again.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: He can move his pinky and thumb as if they were arms. Feel free to cringe in pain at your leisure.
  • Big Eater: He ate his way through Candy Crush.
  • Break the Haughty: Getting sent to the trash to be deleted takes him down a peg. By the time Gene and Jailbreak reach him, he's a pathetic wreck openly welcoming death.
  • Dub Name Change: In Japan, he is named Hi-Touch, as the emoji is named as such there.
  • Fat Best Friend: To Gene.
  • It's All About Me: Need we say more?
  • Jerkass: He's an incredibly annoying and egotistical narcissist and is only concerned with being famous and cool again.
  • The Load: He delays Gene and Jailbreak's journey to Dropbox by getting himself thrown into the trash, forcing the two to rescue him.
  • The Millstone: He causes quite a few problems for Gene and Jailbreak during their journey, most notably turning on the Just Dance app for no reason when the group is nearing Dropbox (which leads to the app's deletion).
  • The Rival: To Fist Bump.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Gene's Sensitive Guy.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He initially only accompanies Gene on his quest for purely selfish reasons (in his case, to become famous again), but as time goes on he begins to value his friendship with Gene over fame.

Voiced by: Maya Rudolph (English)Foreign V As

A 😀 emoji who is the mayor of Textopolis, who considers Gene a threat.

  • Affably Evil: When not in a bad mood, she mostly treats the other emojis genuinely fairly as long as they're not causing too much damage and is just trying her best to keep it safe. She still is never afraid to show her vicious side, however.
  • Ax-Crazy: Is mentally unstable and goes out of her way delete "malfunction" emojis. Her not being able to make anything but a smile just makes it worse.
  • Bad Boss: Tends to be rather passive-aggressive towards her henchmen, even nonchalantly punching them on a few occasions.
  • Be Yourself: She gives this advice to the other emojis, and claims it to be the reason she's always smiling, since she was created to be happy all the time.
  • Big Bad: The primary antagonist of the movie.
  • Control Freak: Sends bots to delete the malfunctions. Even as the phone is about to be wiped, she shouts that Emojis shouldn't make more than one face.
  • Evil All Along: Averted. She seems helpful and friendly at first, but quickly becomes the primary antagonist. Neither Smiler nor the movie act like she has a hidden evil agenda.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Smiler is the smiley emoji and smiles all the time.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A non-lethal version of this. She gets crushed by her robot she used to kill Gene and the others and gets sent to Loser Lounge and loses a game of Go Fish against the other misfit emojis, whom she most likely sent to there.
  • Meaningful Name: "Smiler" is always smiling, even when she's angry.
  • Obviously Evil: To the point that the trailers didn't even try to hide the fact that she was the villain. Her smile alone should probably have been a tip off.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Since Emoji are meant to stick to the same expression.
  • Slasher Smile: Especially when she's plotting something.
  • Stepford Smiler: Even when she's angry, she always smiles.
  • Villain Has a Point: Sure, she's trying to delete Gene, but she's also got a good reason for her actions due to the fact that Gene technically is a major threat towards the entire smartphone and she's just trying to prevent the entire phone from getting disintegrated because of him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She is determined to preserve the digital world at any cost, including having any "malfunctions" (such as Gene and Mel) deleted.

    Mel and Mary Meh
Voiced by: Steven Wright (English, Mel)Foreign V As Jennifer Coolidge (English, Mary)Foreign V As

Gene's parents.

  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Both have very thick brows, with Mel's being the thickest.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Mary sports a bob haircut which doesn't even reach her arms.
  • Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes: The almost always look half-asleep to show how boring they are.
  • Dull Surprise: They hardly ever raise their voice beyond the level of just sounding bored.
  • Establishing Character Moment: They are introduced making the bored "meh" faces that Gene is supposed to have. As he points out, they're very good.
  • The Eeyore: Being "meh" emojis, they sport blank expressions on their faces 24/7 and act unamused. It comes through in their voices as well.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Both sport small, but faint bags under their eyes.
  • Lookalike Lovers: If not for their hair styles, voices and Mary's eyelashes, they'd be damn near indistinguishable from one another.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mel initially appears insensitive to his son's plight at the start of the film, but it is shown he genuinely cares about him.
  • Meaningful Name: Mary's name is Hebrew for "of the sea" or "bitter", the latter meaning referring to what she acts like.
  • Never My Fault: Before it is revealed that Mel also has multiple emotions, he mostly blames Mary for Gene's actions.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Both of them. Subverted with Mel, who is revealed to be capable of making other expressions.
  • Stepford Snarker: Mel also has Gene's ability, but has been suppressing it all his life.
  • The Stoic: They deliver all their lines in a flat monotone.
    Mel: Don't overreact.
    Mary: Uh-oh.
    Mel: I told you not to overreact.

Voiced by: Patrick Stewart (English)Foreign V As

A 💩 emoji who is a citizen of Textopolis.

  • Actor Allusion: As the phone is getting deleted, Poop cries out "RED ALERT!" whilst sitting in a very familiar chair.
  • Advertised Extra: Shows up frequently in trailers and even has his own poster. In the movie proper, he only has a handful of lines and is only a minor character at best.
  • Curse Cut Short: Starts to say "Oh, Sh-" but is cut off while Gene is destroying the text center.
  • Dub Name Change: In Japan, he's named Unchi Papa (Daddy Poop), similar to his original English name of "Poop Daddy".
  • I Am Very British: Due to being voiced by Patrick Stewart.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: His son looks exactly like him.
  • Talking Poo: A sentient poo emoji.
  • Toilet Humour: He's a literal magnet for poop jokes.
  • Visual Pun: Many jokes are made at his expense of being a walking pile of feces.


Voiced by: Jake T. Austin

The owner of Gene's phone. Has a crush on Addie in the class.

  • Curtains Match the Windows: Has brown hair and eyes.
  • Flat Character: A notable example in that he has almost no personality traits to speak of, even in a movie where the majority of the characters are already very one-note and static. None of his dialogue provides any hints as to what he's like, attempts to expand his character are ignored by dodging the subject and the focus tends to be placed more on the emoji to begin with. What little we do see of him and his actions in the story seem to indicate that he's... not very bright and has knee-jerk reactions to anything unusual that goes on with his phone. In general, he's just presented as an awkward high school freshman crushing on a cute girl, and that's literally it.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He does look a lot like Jake T. Austin.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: Kickstarts the plot by not deciding what Emoji to use to admit to his crush that he likes her, and being too shy to talk to her anyway.
  • Shrinking Violet: Is too shy to talk to Addie using anything other than Emojis.

Voiced by: Tati Gabrielle

Alex's crush; his attempts to text her end up instigating the movie's plot.


    Akiko Glitter

The instructor of the Just Dance app.

Internet trolls who inhabit the phone. Don’t ask why.