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Gene is the main protagonist of the critically panned 2017 animated film The Emoji Movie.

He is supposed to be a meh emoji (😒) just like his parents, Mel and Mary Meh, but he instead is a multi-expressive emoji capable of making more than one facial expression, a trait he is later revealed to share with his father Mel. After he make a "wrong face" on the text, he was forced to be deleted by Smiler's minions, the Bots, but he is rescued by the high-fived emoji, Hi-5 and take to the Loser Lounges, where emojis don't fit in right.

He was voiced by T.J. Miller, who voices Tuffnut in the first two films of the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, Fred in Big Hero 6, and Auggie in Hell and Back.


Gene is a yellow emoji with a swift hair, green eyes and brown eye-brows. He also has a gap in his white teeth.


Gene has a high-spirited and cheerful demeanor but is quite sensitive, as shown when he was talking to his parents about rather he should work at the text center or not.

By nature, Gene is emotional and has a tendency to change his emotions. However, he has stated that this has led to him not fitting in, leading to him feeling uncomfortable with himself and wanting to act like a proper "meh' emoji.

Once Jailbreak rejected him, Gene temporarily began to act unenthusiastic and apathetic. However, once he used his ability to change his expressions to save everyone's lives in Textopolis, he reverted back to his old self. He also learned that he shouldn't try to change who he was and to just be himself.

Also, Gene seems to enjoy dancing.



  • Gene's voice actor, T.J. Miller, and Smiler's voice actress, Maya Rudolph, previously appeared together in the 2014 Disney animated movie Big Hero 6, where Miller voiced Fred and Rudolph voiced Aunt Cass, respectively.
    • In addition to that, T.J. Miller also collaborated with Anna Faris, the voice of Jailbreak, in the 2010 live-action/computer-animated Warner Bros. movie Yogi Bear, where Miller portrayed Ranger Jones and Faris portrayed Rachel Johnson, respectively.
  • Gene is the first character to be voiced by T.J. Miller who is the main protagonist of his movie. All of Miller's previous voice roles up to this point were supporting characters.
  • Gene is the fifth Sony Pictures Animation protagonist not to be a human, after Boog, Cody Maverick, Papa Smurf, and Smurfette.
    • In addition, he is also the third Sony Pictures Animation non-human protagonist to not be an animal, after Papa Smurf and Smurfette.
  • Initially, Gene was supposedly the only emoji in Textopolis to be multi-expressive, but this is proven incorrect after we find out that Mel Meh, Gene's father, shares this exact same trait.
  • Gene Meh shares some similarities with both Barney Pudowski and Ron from Ron's Gone Wrong:
    • Like Barney, both start off as outcasts who don't have friends due to possessing an outsider trait (Gene is multi-expressive and Barney likes rocks) and desire to be respected.
    • Both Gene and Ron have a malfunction in their system (although Ron's was caused by damage, while Gene's is natural)
    • In both of the movies, the main protagonist gets into trouble with the head authority figure to the malfunctioning trait in question causing chaos (Gene is deemed a malfunction by Smiler after a failed text message sent to the emojis' user Alex's crush Addie McCallister and Barney is suspended from school after Ron brings in the wrong "friends" for Barney during recess)
    • Later on, they go on a life-changing journey with the hopes of becoming normal, only to later regret their decisions when they finally get what they want (Gene begins to question his multi-expressionist trait after falling in love with Jailbreak, but becomes normal after getting heartbroken, resulting in him struggling to regain his old trait and Barney finds out Ron was fixed, causing him to go into the Bubble Network to find Ron's old code and upload it back into his system)
    • In the end, they both go back to their old, weird traits and everyone loves them for it.
  • Gene is the second Sony Pictures Animation protagonist to be an outcast in his community, after Flint Lockwood from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Coincidentally, Anna Faris, the voice of Jailbreak, voiced Sam Sparks in that same movie, who also served as the protagonist's love interest.


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See Also
007 Heroes | 2012 Heroes | Aardman Heroes | Amblin Entertainment Heroes | Angry Birds Heroes | Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Heroes | Final Fantasy Heroes | Ghostbusters Heroes | Godzilla Heroes | Goosebumps Heroes | Hellboy Heroes | Hotel Transylvania Heroes | Jerry Bruckheimer Heroes | Jumanji Heroes | Marvel Cinematic Universe Heroes | MIB Heroes | Muppet Heroes | Netflix Heroes | Open Season Heroes | PBS Kids Heroes | Sausage Party Heroes | Sesame Street Heroes | Smurfs Heroes | Sony's Spider-Man Universe Heroes | Spider-Man Heroes | Surf's Up Heroes | The Emoji Movie Heroes | The Mitchells vs. the Machines Heroes | Vivo Heroes | White House Down Heroes | Wish Dragon Heroes