We all know the shruggie, the greatest emoticon of this generation: ¯_(ツ)_/¯. But the shruggie’s just a gateway into kaomojis, or Japanese emoticons. These tend to be a lot more complex than your typical American smileys, e.g. :-), for two reasons. They’re horizontal, allowing for linear storytelling; and they use the full unicode array of text options, building from the need for complex characters like kanji in Japanese communication, although you can use more complicated characters with Western-style emoticons.
Collections of kaomojis abound on the internet, but this list of more than 10,000 strong is a great place to dive. Consider the following a starter kit. Dazzle your friends! Spice up your Facebook posts! Keep them on a Sticky on your desktop to copy and paste whenever you need to be extra special! Beat those superficial emoji users whose stuff doesn’t always work in Tweetdeck!
1. A Cat: (=^･^=)
Are you on the internet? Yes. You are reading this, and it is on the internet. Therefore, you need a cat emoticon. Cats run the damn internet even if you hate cats.
2. Flipping a Double Bird:╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮
THIS IS WHAT YOU GET IF YOU DON’T LIKE CATS.
3. A Marriage Proposal: ( ° ᴗ°)~ð (/❛o❛)
This is what you get if you do like cats. Nah, I’m just joking, you should have a relationship built on a more solid foundation that just what pets you prefer. And yes, I’m opposed to patriarchal conceits of marriage and engagement and whatnot, but in my defense, this kaomoji is really cute.
4. That Funny Toddler Running Away Picture, You Know the One:
૮(”ړ ა)͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞ #
I found one in the Google Image Search with a cat in it. So really it should be:
૮(”ړ ა)͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞=͟͟͞͞ # (=^･^=)
See, I told you that cat emoticon would come in handy.
5. Running For a Hug: ─=≡Σ((( つ ◕o◕ )つ
Sure, everyone likes hugs. But this emotion says you LOVE hugs. Stick it to those mealy-mouthed, wishy-washy, mere hug “likers” with this display of cute dominance.
6. A Farting Bear: ʕ⁎̯͡⁎ʔ༄
Look, I’m gonna be honest, I literally can’t imagine a situation where a farting bear emoticon would be actually useful. Maybe if you were a zookeeper? Let’s say you’re a zookeeper. You need this farting bear emoticon, Mr./Mrs. Zookeeper (yes, you’re married, remember the proposal earlier?).
7. High Five: ♪(((#^-^)八(^_^*)))♪
Congrats on your wedding! High five!
8. Twu Wuv: ☆✲ﾟ｡(((´♡‿♡`+)))｡ﾟ✲☆
If you don’t feel this way during 100 percent of your engagement and marriage, it’s a sham. Sorry. These are the rules. Stars. Multiple kinds of stars. Always.
9. Uhhhhh: (ᓄಠ_ಠ)ᓄ
I honestly don’t remember what this one was supposed to be. But it’s kinda cool, right? Argue about it with your new spouse, I guess. It’s that or talk about the cat’s pooping habits. Again.
10. Finger Guns: ԅ(´ڡ`ԅ)
Awww yeah. Ka-pew.
11. Crying: (´;︵;`)
So your marriage is falling apart. It’s alright. Most are. Cry about it! Crying is a great way to relieve stress, and possibly manipulate your spouse. The cat will sit, stone faced, ignoring you bawling your eyes out. Smug-ass cat.
12. Christmas: ·͙⁺˚•̩̩͙✩•̩̩͙˚⁺‧͙⁺˚•̩̩͙✩•̩̩͙˚⁺‧͙⁺˚•̩̩͙✩•̩̩͙˚⁺‧͙
The holidays act as a sort of emotional force multiplier. If you’ve got things moving in a positive direction, perhaps you can salvage this disaster of a marriage and, honestly, your whole life. If not, then being forced to spend time with one another’s families will be the final stressor that destroys the bridge that is your long-term relationship. Also the lights are cute! They drop below the bottom of the text line, but only a little bit, which is really neat.
13. Dance Party: 〜(￣▽￣〜)
You’re single now. During your waking hours, it’s time to run free, dance, pretend that living by yourself is the best thing that could possibly happen to you! (Did you realize how much attention a cat requires when it’s just you and it? Enjoy trying to get eight hours of sleep ever again.)
14. Sleep: (ᵕ≀ ̠ᵕ )
Remember sleep? Probably not at this point, as you spend three hours every night running over every mistake you ever made in your relationship. This kaomoji represents the impossible dream, or at least it would, if you could ever trust your dreams again.
15. Worried Face: ╏ ˵ ✪ ﹏ ✪ ˵ ╏
Awww, look how cute and worried this guy is! He’s pretty much a Cathy cartoon. Ack!, amirite?