๐Ÿค” Thinking Emoji: Look Smart, Keep Your Cool And Keep Any Conversation Going

Written by: Ortega
Modified: Jan 23, 2023

Need a minute to think about how to respond to someone’s message? Instead of ignoring the person you’re talking to online, send them the 🤔Thinking emoji. By doing so, you’re avoiding a potentially awkward situation. You’re telling the person you’re talking to that you got their message, and you are thinking about what to do.

If you’re discussing an urgent matter, the 🤔 Thinking emoji lets the other party know you are aware there’s a problem that needs to be solved, and you’re working on a solution. As you can see, emojis help users quickly express emotions instead of writing lengthy words.

But sometimes, even emojis can get lost in translation, and, surprise, surprise! Many of the easily misunderstood emojis are facial expressions and smileys. While some emojis appear to make perfect sense, others appear to be decidedly difficult to decipher. No judgment here — with so many cute yellow faces to choose from, it can get overwhelming. Not to worry, that’s why we’re here!

Emotional woman holding sheets of paper with drawn emoticons while sitting near grey wall

Photo from Adobe Stock

If you’re new to emojis, but you want to make your texts as emoji-filled as possible, why not start with the basics to kick up your game? You can start with the most basic of them all, smileys! And work your way up from there.

That said, out of all the smileys in the emoji universe, the 🤔 Thinking emoji is one of the most important in digital interactions. It helps keep a text conversation going. In addition, if you’re in a snarky mood, you can use it to scorn or question someone. Think of it as the emoji equivalent of “Hmm, not sure about that?”

Imagine it to be like a person with multiple personalities. It can indicate that you are lost in thought, considering something stated, doubting something, or thinking that someone is foolish or stupid.


Thinking Face Emoji Meaning

thinking emoji

The 🤔 Thinking Face emoji is a serious-looking smiley with one eyebrow raised, clearly thinking about something important. This is demonstrated by the classic chin stroking, which is a recognized contemplating activity.

Obviously, its most common meaning is thinking about something — for example, whether it is worth going somewhere, whether a statement is true, what someone really means, etc.

thinking face emoji with two thought bubbles above it, thought bubbles filled with other emojis

Photo from Adobe Stock

Most netizens share it when they need to reference a question or idea. Others prefer its rhetorical use, to cast passive-aggressive doubt on someone or something. When used that way, the 🤔 Thinking Face emoji is more sarcastic in tone. Think of it as the online version of a furrowed brow, alarmed murmur, or the digital expression of concerned skepticism.


Thinking Emoji History

Photo from Adobe Stock

This emoji was first introduced to the public with the code U+1F914 as part of Unicode 8.0 on June 17, 2015. 37 new characters and five emoji modifiers were a part of this batch, bringing the total number of new symbols under Unicode 8.0 to 41.

The 🤔 Thinking Face emoji was definitely in good company — the 🙄 Face With Rolling Eyes, 🤗 Hugging Face, and 🌮 Taco are some of the other popular symbols part of Unicode 8.0.

Three months later, the 🤔 Thinking Face emoji was incorporated into Emoji 1.0, as well. Emoji 1.0 is Unicode’s first release of emoji documentation, which covers all emojis approved between 2010 and 2015.


Other Names Of The Thinking Emoji

If you googled the term “Thinking emoji,” you’d be surprised to know that the name of the 🤔 Thinking emoji varies from website to website, but they all mean the same thing. Most commonly, the 🤔 Thinking emoji is called the 🤔 Thinking Face emoji.

It’s also known that way on iOS and Apple devices. Alternative names for the 🤔 Thinking emoji include Chin Thumb, Thinker, etc. Other sites go so far as to call it the “Throwing Shade,” emoji! Kinda savage!


Thinking Face Emoji On Different Platforms

thinking emoji on different platforms

Ever thought about where emojis come from? An organization called the Unicode Consortium creates emojis, and makes sure they look a certain way. They manage the emoji standard, and after a lengthy approval procedure, release new emojis.

Unicode is in charge of the overall design, but the design varies by platform, so the 🤔 Thinking emoji will look different on an iPhone, Android device, a PC running Windows, and also in various apps that implement their own emoji art such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp for Android.

While the differences in design aren’t massive, they are still quite noticeable. Take, for example, Facebook’s version of the 🤔 Thinking emoji. It is the only symbol that has blue eyes, and a blue sleeve. Meanwhile, Samsung’s eyes are bigger than the smileys of other brands. Almost all Samsung emojis have bigger details, whether it’s the emoji’s eyes, or beads of sweat near their heads. Samsung’s own UX design team is responsible for these nuances. The team carefully engineers and designs over 1,000 symbols of Samsung.

Alternatively, Twitter and JoyPixel’s versions bear the same expression, and are looking in the same direction. However, JoyPixel’s smiley is wearing a white glove, while the hand on Twitter’s emoji is dark orange. Twitter’s emoji also looks flatter. Two emojis nearly of the same shade are the Apple and Google versions. They both have an orange border, and touches of orange inside the circle.

Be that as it may, Apple and Google’s 🤔 Thinking emoji still look quite different from each other because Google’s mouth and eyes are black, while Apple’s eyes and mouth are dark brown.

Lastly, Window’s 🤔 Thinking emoji comes with a black border to give it a more unique and distinctive look. In April 2016, Microsoft rolled out and implemented the new black border feature in all of its emojis, as part of the Microsoft Windows 10 updated version.


How To Use The Thinking Face Emoji

– After watching the interview of Britney Spears’ father, hmm… 🤔 My one eyebrow was raised the whole time.
– 🤔 is my expression whenever I see politicians running for office make campaign promises!
– To order Chinese or Indian takeout? I don’t know what to choose 🤔

– 📅​🤔​🏋️‍♀️​ is to lose all the pounds I gained over the holiday season! [What it means: New Year’s resolution]
– 🤔​🪞​👖​👗for the party later tonight? [What it means: what should I wear?]
– So this happened 💍​💐​🤔​ I love my boyfriend, but I am not sure I want to spend the rest of my life with him [What it means: he proposed, and I said, I will think about it]

These are all casual interactions, but how about at school or at work? It can be difficult to know when to use emoticons at work, but it’s safer to avoid emojis in emails until you know the culture and norms at your business. When in doubt, opt for a formal yet friendly tone, then add emojis gradually once you see others do the same.


Thinking Emoji In Pop Culture

Emoji emblem, For Honor game

Photo from KnowYourMeme.com

On February 21, 2017, a YouTuber with the handle Incendio_Wolf uploaded a tutorial video on how to create a thinking emoji emblem in the game For Honor.

For Honor is an action-fighting game in a medieval fantasy setting. The game allows players to take on the roles of historical troops and warriors, like knights, samurai, Vikings, etc. For Honor is mostly focused on one-on-one battles, but conflicts against many opponents are common as well.

Three months later, another YouTuber featured the thinking emoji, but in a different way. The owner of the YouTube channel Chandle Candle featured his pick of the Top 10 Thinking Emoji Memes.

thinkplant emoji

These images were all variations of the thinking emoji. Some illustrations were morbid, and even bizarre, like the Chin-face Thinking emoji, Thinkplant emoji (a combination of the 🤔 Thinking Face emoji and the 🍆 Eggplant emoji), Glowing Eyes Thinking emoji, and the Edgy Gun Thinking emoji which showed the emoji with a gun to his mouth. As of this writing, the video has already amassed more than 52 thousand views!



Pensive asian chinese woman in smart casual with desktop computer looking at screen holding coffee cup at home office. young thoughtful lady employee sitting at pc brainstorming during drink tea.

Photo from Adobe Stock

Before we end, here’s a quote about the 🤔 Thinking emoji from popular comedian and podcaster Nick Wiger, which kind of hits the nail on the head as to why the symbol is more relevant today than when it was created. In an article on Esquire, Wiger says, the symbol is great for trying to comment without getting too deep into things.

“For me it’s a very non-committal emoji, which is part of what I like about it,” he says. “It doesn’t say anything strong, but it can convey, ‘Oh, that’s interesting. Oh, that’s a little bit of a hot take.’ It can encompass any range from good insight to I’m not sure if I agree with that, but I don’t disagree enough to start a fight over it.”

With all the fake news flying in the world, and people arguing online every day at seemingly every turn, “practicing the pause,” through the 🤔 Thinking emoji, to control one’s emotions and avoid allowing one’s anger to consume you, is something we all should make a habit of.