Where’s the Turkey / Thanksgiving Emoji?

Emoji - No Turkey?Emoji are to text messages as¬†a turkey dinner is to Thanksgiving in the United States. A problem occurs when all four of these¬†things are combined. How does one send a festive text message to someone celebrating Thanksgiving? It seems like such a trivial issue, but probably lots of people have been¬†sifting through¬†their iPhone’s special characters ‚Äď looking for¬†a good turkey icon. I was one of those people. I looked through¬†the People, Nature, Objects, Places and Symbols categories. I started wondering,¬†“Where’s the thanksgiving icon?”

The text message “Happy Thanksgiving” doesn’t convey the proper emotion¬†same emotion without a colorful drawing. It sounds ridiculous, and there less trivial issues in the world, but it is a problem. With all of the preparation, Thanksgiving can be a stressful day. A missing emoji could conceivably butterfly effect into a ruined holiday. Here’s a scenario…

You wake up. You want to send happy messages to all of your friends and family. But wait, where’s the turkey? You search and search, wasting time on a busy day. In a rush to get the busy day started, you’re interrupted from you’re texting. You forget to send a message to that¬†special someone. Because expectations are high this time of year, that unintentional snub turns into a damaged relationship.

This seems like an exaggeration, or perhaps the plot of a TV show, but can it be avoided? Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can be much help in resolving this hypothetical drama. The reality is that Emoji are more international. There are lots icons for Christmas. There are even icons for Halloween. But for Thanksgiving, I’m not seeing anything that spectacular. There’s a chicken. There’s even a chick. But I wasn’t able to find a pilgrim, an American Indian, a cornucopia or even a full turkey. The closest I could find was a piece of poultry…

Emoji Characters - Poultry Leg

A drumstick is somewhat related to the holiday, but it doesn’t quite portray the feelings of family and togetherness. Perhaps a collection of emoji can paint a festive scene.

  • Maple Leaf
  • Fallen Leaves
  • Poultry Leg
  • Wine Glass
  • Ear of Maize

It’s not quite the same as a Christmas Tree icon¬†in December, or Fireworks icons in July, but it’s kinda close. Perhaps that’s what’s important about the holiday ‚Äď making an effort! If you show that you care, and you worked around the limitations of emoji, it might make a good impression.

So for this holiday season, I’m thankful for emoji. Yeah, that might surprise some people. It might even seem silly. But in this world that’s growing evermore technical, it’s important to highlight the things that separate humanity from machines. We have emotions. We can get happy or angry. It’s part of the way we communicate. I think being able to send a smiley face around the globe is pretty cool.

To the people of the Internet, Happy thanksgiving :)

One thought on “Where’s the Turkey / Thanksgiving Emoji?”

  1. Update – Two years later, if you’re still wondering where the Turkey Emoji is, it’s available on newer operating systems. ūü¶É

    If you have iOS 9, iOS 10 or macOS X (El Capitan or newer) you should be able to find the Turkey emoji in the “Animals & Nature” section.

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