Every year, we are blessed with even more emojis. The library of small, pictographs gets one step closer to usurping existing human languages as a nuanced mode of communication. Despite everything else happening, 2022 is no different: Unicode has released its list of emoji finalists that may or may not (but probably will) get uploaded to the official emoji catalog.
You can vote for your favorites if you want—although we have no evidence that emoji selection is a democratic process. And regardless of your feelings, finalists will be released in September. The current list is made up of draft designs, so small changes could be made between now and then, and it’s possible that something gets cut.
What won’t change though is Gizmodo’s very scientific, objective, and definitive rankings of all the 2022 emoji finalists. Two extremely professional writers (Kevin and Lauren) have put their combined analytical powers together and scored each tiny image on a scale of 1 to 5 based on it’s usability, design, and novelty—for the personal benefit of our readers, of course. Our respective scores were then summed (a total possible score of 3 to 15 for each emoji) and then averaged together to get a final score for each emoji.
Lauren is an atypical emoji user, who enjoys combining the little pictures into puzzles for her friends to solve among their Venmo notifications. Also, she is a big user of the “100" and fire hypebeast-esque reacts. Beyond those standards, her current favorites include the octopus, the trumpet, and the bucket.
Kevin is an avid emoji user who hyperfixates on a handful of emojis at a time. His current favorite emojis include the melting face, the envelope sealed with a heart, and the shaka (which is actually the “Call Me Hand,” apparently).
Read on to learn how all of this year’s contestants in the emoji pageant stack up—worst to best.