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10 Underrated Emojis & When to Use Them

Let’s be real: The only reason smartphones are cool is because they come with emojis. Sometimes these cute little pictures can say things better than words can, and we all feel accomplished when we have an entire conversation exclusively in emojis. While we all have our favorites (thumbs up, girl in red dress, pizza slice), there’s a whole world of emojis out there that we could be using. Here are the 10 most underrated emojis, what they mean and the perfect times to use them.

1. Straight lipped smiley

Otherwise known as “neutral” face, this is the perfect response when you’ve realized you studied for four hours for a test that’s actually next Wednesday. It’s also appropriate when your roommate tells you that she’s hooked up with her ex… for the third time.

2. Shadowy figures

As one of the creepier emojis, shadowy figures mean that you’re up to something sneaky. You can also throw it in when you spot your friend in a crowd and want to freak them out with an “I see you” text. And of course, it’s great shorthand for social-media-stalking your crush.

3. Preach hands

While we do use the preach hands often, we don’t use them nearly enough. Whether your friend tells you that the new Beyoncé song is killer or you’re going to Chipotle, the hallelujah hands are the perfect way to say “heck yeah.”

4. Cactus

This seemingly random emoji actually says a lot. You can use it when you’re feeling uncomfortable or awkward about a situation. Make a joke that no one friends funny? Awkward cactus. Getting hit on at the bar? Cactus = “SOS please save me.” 

5. Flames

You’re on FIRE. Not literally of course, but it’s great for when you’re killing the game or think something is extra hot. Ideal for when you ace your midterm, find the perfect dress for formal or have a conversation about Ryan Gosling.

6. French fries

You’re at the bar, your phone is dying and you want to suggest ordering late night food when you get home. Also good for when it’s that time of the month, and you’re really craving something salty. Until we get a taco or burrito emoji, the French fries emoji is a solid alternative to the overused pizza slice.

7. Red balloon

While it’s perfect for Instagram collages for you friends’ birthdays, the free-spirited red balloon needs to be used more often. It’s ideal for when you’re kind of like “whatever” about something and just going with the flow. Plus it’s just really cute and fun! 

8. Money with wings

Being broke is something we can all relate to, and now there’s a perfect emoji to express it. It’s a quick way to say that you spent too much money at the mall or remind your roomies that it’s time to pay rent. Bye, bye paycheck. 


As opposed to the thumbs up when we actually think something is cool, the COOL emoji is a sarcastic reply when we’re not down for something. Like when you’re forced to third wheel with your friend and her SO or when someone’s going to be late to your group project meeting again, you can always reply with a COOL.   

10. Copyright

For the times when you text something brilliant or think of an awesome new word, the copyright emoji gives you credit when you deserve it. It’s for when you want to leave your mark and let everyone know that you were the one to start the trend. You go, Glen Coco.

While we’ll still use classic smiley face and pizza slice emojis, it’s always good to change it up with the hundreds of emojis we have at our finger tips. Happy texting, collegiettes!

Kasia (pronounced "Kasha") recently graduated from Villanova University where she studied Communication. She's a self-proclaimed Pinterest enthusiast, aspiring writer, avid reader, and constant smiler. Besides writing for HC, you can find her practicing yoga or curling up with a book at a coffee shop. She plans to pursue a career in public relations or journalism, where she can live in a city and decorate her own apartment. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog!
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