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What does the upside-down emoji mean?

Unlike most emoji, there are several possible interpretations.

Published onDecember 22, 2023

The upside-down emoji in closeup

If you ever find yourself confused by trends in online messaging, don’t beat yourself up about it — internet trends move so quickly that even people who are constantly connected can find themselves out of the loop. One potentially baffling thing in chat these days is the upside-down smile emoji, which can have several different meanings based on context.

What does the upside-down emoji mean?

The upside-down emoji


This is one of the most common uses, since it’s relatively easy to decipher from context, and potentially even important if there’s a chance your message could be mistaken as serious opinion.

  • “That corporate team-building meeting sounds like blast🙃”


Even with non-ironic messages, people sometimes want to make it clear they’re just joking around or having fun.

  • “Hell yeah, that was soooo funny 🙃”


Here usage takes the edge off of an uncomfortable topic, or something a person said or did by accident. As you’d expect, a frequent example is apologizing for texting the wrong person.

  • “Oops, sorry. 🙃 That was meant for Mahelia”


Playing off the humor and embarrassment angles, people might sometimes use the emoji to keep dating and sex talk light — possibly too light if you’re talking about topics like falling in love or going exclusive.

  • “Let’s hang out at my place this weekend 🙃”
  • “I like you, but let’s save the relationship talk for a little later 🙃”


The upside-down emoji can sometimes be preferable to angry characters when complaining if you don’t want to come across as furious. With that said, you have to be careful, as a message could be interpreted as a joke, passive-aggressive, or not taking things seriously enough, depending on the circumstances.

  • “WordPress messed up my link formatting once again. 🙃”