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    Gene Meh
    His emoji type fits how we feel about his character perfectly... 😡
    Gender: Male
    Type: Clichéd protagonist
    Age: Young adult
    Species: Meh Emoji
    Portrayed by: T.J. Miller
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: The Emoji Movie

    Gene Meh is the main protagonist of the infamous 2017 film The Emoji Movie. He is an emoji who, unlike the other emojis in Textopolis, is diagnosed with a malfunction that causes him to have multiple expressions. Determined to have a normal expression like all of the other emojis, he enlists the help of Hi-5 (his best friend) and Jailbreak (whom he develops a crush on). He is voiced by T.J. Miller, who also voiced Tuffnut in the first two How to Train Your Dragon films and Fred in Big Hero 6.

    Why He's 😒 Meh Indeed

    1. Gene is nothing more than just another overused basic and cliched "the odd one out misunderstood protagonist". He is enough of a badly written character that he makes good protagonists like Joy from Inside Out, Emmet Brickowski from The Lego Movie, Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph look bad. And unlike Joy, Emmet, and Ralph, who all got character development later in the films, Gene never, if ever, gets any character development whatsoever, other than almost getting Alex’s phone deleted and being the one responsible for all the troubles that happened throughout the movie.
    2. He is mostly unfunny, unlikable in some ways (mainly about his irresponsible actions, and in some cases, unintendedly), clumsy, immature, and won't shut up every time he's onscreen.
    3. His design is uncanny, even for Sony Pictures Animation standards. He looks like a Pac-Man that comes out from Chernobyl with the head of Mike Wazowski thrown (albeit given two eyes), the yellow M&M with a hairstyle, or even a yellow Coconut Fred that came out straight from an Xbox 360 game from 2009.
    4. His romantic relationship with Jailbreak is just forced, bland, and dull.
    5. His last name, "Meh", is rather lazy. Who on Earth would name their families after a word of what is supposed to be not great?
    6. One of the main complaints with The Emoji Movie is that Gene is supposed to be the main protagonist, but he caused more damage than the main "antagonist", almost got everyone killed and deleted, and somehow, we are supposed to root for him.
      • Speaking of which, writers Tony Leondis and Eric Siegel did a very awful job representing the characters' roles in the movie. Smiler is depicted as the villain even though all she wanted to do was to protect the Emojis world while Gene Meh, despite being the protagonist, was the one responsible for all the troubles that happened in the movie, as he caused the deaths of many characters such as the trolls and the Just Dance girl and almost caused the entire phone to almost have its data deleted. Leondis and Siegel keep trying to attract viewers to like the protagonist and despise the villain without giving the usual proper characterization to them as a reason to do this.
      • Not only that, the scene where his father Mel revealed that he had the same problem as Gene feels very rushed and bland to the point where it doesn't even count as character development. Leondis and Siegel did that just so the audience could understand why Gene is a multi-expressional emoji.
      • He never gets any punishment for his mean-spirited actions, making him a Karma Houdini.
    7. While T.J. Miller does a decent job voicing him, it does waste his talent

    Redeeming Qualities 😃

    1. He redeemed himself in the third act by saving Textopolis by being an animated emoji showing that Alex loves Addie.
      • He also started to care about other people around him in the third act, including his friends. He even explains this to Jailbreak in the Spotify app right after Hi-5 goes into the phone's recycle bin.
    2. To be fair, the only reason Gene is a misunderstood protagonist is that his father was also diagnosed with the malfunction that he has, despite it doesn't count as character development.
    3. Unlike Jailbreak, he has a fair relationship with Hi-5 and wasn't flanderized completely in the book.
    4. Thanks to all of his reasons, as mentioned above in WH's😒I, he can be seen as a "so bad, its good" character.
    5. "Hi-5 don't do it, don't you do it, it's already been there once. Don't do it."
    6. T.J. Miller plays him decently, despite wasting his talents.


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