1813: Vomiting Emoji

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Vomiting Emoji
My favorite might be U+1F609 U+1F93F WINKING FACE VOMITING.
Title text: My favorite might be U+1F609 U+1F93F WINKING FACE VOMITING.


This comic relates to the recent Emoji v5.0 proposal for Unicode 10.0 which includes a vomiting emoji. Cueball initially states that the newly proposed emoji look good, until Megan points out the existence of the vomiting emoji. While Cueball finds this distasteful, Megan rather seems to like it, going as far as suggesting rather than a single emoji, it should be possible to have a whole array of vomiting emojis by combining the vomiting action with other existing emojis.

Note: Some of the emojis below may not display correctly if your browser or operating system doesn't implement the latest Unicode standard.

Unicode is the computing industry standard for representing text. More recent additions have included emoji characters, such as grinning face (😁) or hands clapping (👏). Each Unicode character is assigned a numerical code, usually written in hexadecimal notation. For example, the grinning face emoji is assigned the code U+1F601, and the clap symbol is assigned U+1F44F. Unicode also supports "combining modifiers" which allow, among other uses, placing accents on letters, adding decorations to other emojis, or changing the colors of flags or skin tones. For example, letters such as A, O, or n together with a combining tilde (U+0303) modifier result in those letters having a tilde glyph on top (Ã, Õ, ñ), and various emojis for people, such as 👨 or 👩, together with the medium-dark skin tone modifier (U+1F3FE), results in those same people with altered skin color (👨🏾, 👩🏾).

Along the same lines, Megan's proposal is to assign the code U+1F93F to be a combining modifier indicating vomiting. Under this proposal, it would theoretically be possible to combine a vomiting modifier with any emoji to produce a vomiting version of that emoji. Six examples are given in the last panel, with each being progressively more nonsensical. The title text continues this and gives another example of a ridiculous combination.

The examples given in the comic are:

  • Vomiting Cowboy (🤠): This seems reasonable and not much worse off than the regular one.
  • Vomiting Statue of Liberty (🗽): Given the turbulent political climate in present-day America, this emoji might see a lot of use by opinionated folks.
  • Vomiting Dove (🕊): As the dove is usually seen as a symbol of peace, a vomiting one could be construed as an omen for war or used to depict strong objection to ongoing conflicts. It may also reference a tendency for birds to drop unpleasant things on people below. It is worth noting that pigeons are a subspecies of doves so a dove emoji might as well represent a flying pigeon.
  • Vomiting Moon (🌛): In cartoons or fairy tales, the Moon is often anthropomorphized, however depicting it as vomiting would be extraordinary since that would not be in line with normal child-friendly material.
  • Vomiting rocket ship (🚀): This might be a reference to the "Vomit Comet" aircraft that astronauts train on. Also, space travel and travel in general (e.g. in cars, roller coasters, airplanes) can all be associated with vomiting. However, since the cabins of rocket ships should be airtight when in flight, vomit coming out of a flying rocket would be quite strange. While it would be hazardous to have vomit floating around in a weightless environment, the situation would more usually be prevented by carefully containing the vomit, and/or by using anti-nausea medication.
  • Vomiting Hand (✋): This one is just bizarre[citation needed]. Maybe it could be used in the context of some horror flick?
  • Winking Face Vomiting (😉, title text): This suggests that the context in which a wink is used is combined with vomiting to humorous effect.

Assigning Unicode characters to emojis has been controversial historically due to the fact that Unicode was created as a standard for text. Emojis, which are essentially drawings of people or objects, aren't typically perceived as parts of text, and so leads some to object to co-opting the standard for non-text things. Using combining modifiers to further expand emojis is also seen as an abuse of the original purpose of modifier characters. As an alternative, emoji zero-width joiner sequences are in use, where an emoji is encoded as a series of simpler emoji and zero-width joiners. In practice, this would probably be how the above characters would be implemented, instead of with a combining modifier. Jokes that make fun of Unicode, involving emojis that shouldn't exist or inappropriate combinations thereof, are fairly common on the Internet.

In the title text of 1726: Unicode, Randall mentioned the proposed "brontosaurus" emoji in Unicode. And shortly before that Megan talked in similarly drawn emojis in 1709: Inflection. In general emoji has become a recurrent topic on xkcd.


[Cueball, looking at his smartphone, approaches Megan who is sitting in an office chair at a desk working on her laptop. Next to Megan's reply is a large yellow faced emjoi with closed eyes and a large open mouth from where a thick green stream of vomit is gushing out. ]
Cueball: The proposed emoji for Unicode 10.0 look good.
Megan: Hmm.
Megan: 🤮 "U+1F92E Face with open mouth vomiting"
[Cueball is holding his phone down looking at Megan's screen.]
Cueball: Eww.
Megan: Really, "vomiting" should be a combining modifier, so you can use it to make a vomiting version of any emoji.
Cueball: Umm.
Megan: I'm gonna write up a proposal.
[Megan's proposal with six examples of vomiting emoji. All six are colorful also apart from the green stream of vomit gushing out of mouth or holes when there is no mouth. Above the list is Megan's suggested title for the modifier, and the title for each emoji is next to them in the list. The cowboy is like the original version but with a hat. The Statue of Liberty is blue and bends forward to vomit. The gray dove has lost its green olive branch, now above its head. The yellow moon is in first quarter and has a face. The red and blue rocket has fire out the rear and the vomit out an open hatch. The yellow hand has a big hole in its center.]
U+1F93F Vomiting modifier
U+1F920 U+1F93F Vomiting cowboy
U+1F5FD U+1F93F Vomiting Statue of Liberty
U+1F54A U+1F93F Vomiting dove
U+1F31B U+1F93F Vomiting moon
U+1F680 U+1F93F Vomiting rocket ship
U+270B U+1F93F Vomiting hand


Two years after this comic was published, in 2019, Unicode added U+1F93F in Unicode 12.0 and Emoji 12.0, but instead used the code for a diving mask emoji. Six years after this comic was published, in 2023, Google added an "Emoji kitchen" easter egg to their homepage that allows users to "combine" two emojis from a set into one. This includes the vomit, cowboy and moon emojis, making two of the five combinations in the comic possible, as well as the winking face mentioned in the title text.

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Did anyone else think of the Akatsuki member Deidara from Naruto when they saw the vomiting hand emoji? GoonPontoon (talk) 17:52, 20 March 2017 (UTC) - Nope, of Ygo from Unspeakable Vault of Doom. 22:14, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Think of the "vomiting hand" emoji as a response to the "talk to the hand" meme.

The "Vomit Comet" was not a rocket, it was the name of NASA's KC-135 aircraft which simulated weightlessness on parable flights. Given that rockets must be airtight, it is a bit strange that you could vomit out of a rocket.-- 22:19, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

You must be fun at parties.-- 13:29, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

I wish Randall used a vomiting face vomiting (using the vomiting modifier) or a unicorn puking rainbows (U+1F984 U+1F93F U+1F308 🦄🤢🌈). --Björn Eberhardt 08:01, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

For those thinking of making a real proposal, it's not actually needed. You can combine any characters with the special combining character. Originally intended for languages such as arabic, it works with emoji too.--Henke37 (talk) 10:03, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

There seems to be a minor edit war over citing the fact that the Moon is made of rock. I think we should just remove the citation entirely as well as the [citation needed]. Should I go through with this? RamenChef (talk) 15:46, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Keep "Citation Needed" -- it's the best laugh I've had all day (and references xkcd #285)
The emoji is a Man in the Moon vomiting and "he" is made of imagination, not rock. OTOH, the moon has vomited lava in the past, but can AFAIK no longer do so RIIW - Ponder it (talk) 18:34, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Citation needed ref to 285 should only be used when a citation is needed! And of course there should not be one here --Kynde (talk) 20:09, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
What? No, Citation needed is a joke. Hence why we link to a joke, not to some page about actually needing a citation. The moon being made of rock gets "citation needed" as a joke about it actually being made of green cheese. This is exactly how Randal often uses it. Trlkly (talk) 00:52, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Also if you need an actual citation needed, do a nice {{Actual citation needed}} --AverseABFun (talk) 03:49, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
The problem is, the [citation needed] is what started the edit war in the first place. RamenChef (talk) 00:52, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Should the incomplete tag be removed? Dontknow (talk) 21:09, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

I tried making a few of these: https://github.com/WriterArtistCoder/vomit-emoji WriterArtistCoder (talk) 18:03, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

Emoji Madness?

Anyone else think that the whole set needs a complete overhaul as there are seven different co?ours of binder, but no computer mouse or a chop / steak to name a few omissions.

Also the latest iPhone set have Male and Female versions of cowboy, police, guardsman et al. With some of them the difference iis small, but in all of them the female version appears to have her moth open, whereas the male ones do not. Is this sexist? RIIW - Ponder it (talk) 18:58, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

There is a computer mouse emoji http://emojipedia.org/three-button-mouse/ and "cut of meat" emoji http://emojipedia.org/cut-of-meat/

UNICODE is always accepting ideas for new emoji, as long as you're willing to write up a proposal proving the emoji would be useful: http://unicode.org/emoji/selection.html -- 02:37, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

What about proposal? And I'm asking srsly.

Anyone can write and send proposal to Unicode Consortium, and I was thinking - anyone did it actually / gonna do it? --Marsjaninzmarsa (talk) 23:49, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Barf Bold A Decorative Typeface B. Kliban from 1982

[1] -- 03:02, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Got that in TTF format? RamenChef (talk) 21:06, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Did Randall goof, or is it part of the joke?

Megan proposes a single emoji, "U+IF93F" as the vomit modifier. How is possible, then, that in each implementation the vomit is a different shape and location? Is it possible to create an emoji that is self-aware and reconfigures itself as needed?These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 15:14, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes. To cite two examples I'm familiar with: The Fitzpatrick scale skin colour modifiers (U+1F3FB through U+1F3FF) affect whatever part of the emoji (hands, faces, etc.) is considered skin; and many of the "diacritical" or "accent mark" modifiers adjust their position as needed for whatever letter they're being added to, and many of those modifiers can make tall stacks. Mrob27 (talk) 02:03, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Error in the description text

The statement "emojis...aren't typically perceived as parts of text" is clearly incorrect. The entire purpose for which emojis were created is to express emotions in text (which can be difficult to convey in words); emojis are inherently part of text.

I wish I was a good enough artist to make images for the winking face vomiting. --AverseABFun (talk) 03:46, 27 December 2022 (UTC)