Shrug Emoji — ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ — Create Shrug Emoticon as Text

The Shrug Emoji is among the most difficult emoticons to type. While most emojis are simple combinations of characters in your keyboard/keypad, the shrug emoji requires characters from the Japanese katakana alphabet, making it impossible to type out the emoji using your normal keyboard.

For now, and since you’re here to probably copy the raised shoulder with outstretched arms and grinning ‘Shruggie’, here are some of the most popular shrug emoticons you can copy and paste:

1. The Original Shrug Emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2. Fat guy shrug: ¯\(°_°)/¯

3. Fatter guy shrug: 乁〳 ❛ д ❛ 〵ㄏ

4. I don’t even know shrug: ƪ(•̃͡ε•̃͡)∫

5. Shoulder shrug: ^ ^

6. Short hands shrug: ┐(°_°)┌

7. Big eyed shrug? ¯\(°_o)/¯

This emoji is often nicknamed ‘Shruggie’ or ‘Smugshrug’. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In this article, we take a look at the different meanings and uses of the shrug emoji ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, how it started and how you can create the emoji using your keyboard/keypad without having to copy and paste.


Uses of the Shrug Emoji

The Shrug emoji ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ can be used in a number of situations; and it is for this very reason it had become such a phenomenon. Here are some of the uses of the shrugging emoticon:

Shrugging: Raising your shoulders as a gesture of doubt, ignorance or indifference.

Nihilism: A belief that life is meaningless, the rejection of all religious and moral principles.

Sup son: ‘Sup son’ is popular among the StarCraft II community. It is most popularly used after a victory.

Lol idk: ‘lol idk’ means Laughing out Loud, I don’t know. It is synonymous with the ‘idc (I don’t care)’ attitude which is in line with the purpose of the shrug emoji.

IDGAF: IDGAF means ‘I don’t give a f*ck’. This needs no explaining.

The default internet feeling: Don’t take things too seriously on the internet.

One twitter user by the name of Kevin Nguyen tweeted:

It was the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ of times, it was the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ of times. – May 13, 2014

This tweet illustrates the perfect use of the shrug emoji. You just don’t care. Sh*t happens. And there’s nothing you can do about it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Shrugging in real life and online may sometimes mean a different thing. You go to the theatre to watch a movie and end up spending the entire time in the theatre lobby watching football instead. Meh. That calls for a shruggie.

The world is going to end anyway, or you’re probably going to die before that happens. Don’t take life too seriously. Live. Love. Laugh. Shrug a little. Shruggie says no to the serious stuff.

Newsweek writer Rusty Foster wrote in the News in Tabs newsletter that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is very nearly the only reaction he is capable of having to anything. He wrote, “11 plain black strokes perfectly capture the essence of everything I really believe most deeply. In short, my view of the whole universe is: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.”

History of the Shrug Emoji

The Shrug emoji is a kaomoji, a “face mark” in Japanese that incorporates characters from the Japanese katakana alphabet.

Although shrugging in real life has always been there — well it must have been — according to an article in The Awl, the internet ‘Shruggie’ only gained popularity in 2009, after the infamous incident at the MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift in favour of Beyonce; Kanye gave a little shrug with his hands outstretched, a seeming acknowledgement of his ridiculousness, a misplaced sense of victory over the world. This gesture was tweeted by rap crew Travis Porter.


The emoji quickly went viral.

It soon became a victory trademark for StarCraft II players. The emoji was called ‘sup son’. When a player defeats another player, he’d use the ‘sup son’ emoji.

The emoji was parodied in YouTube videos, and the expression appeared in movies such as Star Wars and Spiderman. It was everywhere on the internet — in chats, social networks and status updates.

To a large extent, Reddit played a crucial role in popularising the shrug emoji. Reddit users were among the first to spot uses of the emoji and its expressions in popular videos and movies. A Reddit thread in 2013 with the title “lol idk just upvote” gave a new meaning to the emoji. Shruggie was a representation of nihilism, that everything is meaningless, an internet representation of “i don’t know”, “i don’t care” attitude.

How to Use Shrug Emoji in Your Everyday Life

Shruggie is a very weirdly addictive emoji. There’s no stopping once you start using it. Because it sometimes makes no sense, you can use it anywhere — in status updates, chat messages, conversations, etc.

But typing out the emoji can be a little hard, even if you’re using the Japanese katakana keyboard.

So, we take you through the various ways you can easily access shruggie and use it in your everyday life.

1. Copy-Paste Shruggie

Yep. This is the easiest and the most popular way to use the shrug emoticon. You copy the emoji – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – and paste it where you want it as text.

There’s all sorts of places you could copy the text emoji from. There’s even a website dedicated to the emoji – where you can copy the emoji as text.

The trouble with this copy-paste operation is that every time you want to use the emoji, you’re gonna have to open this website or other sources/documents, as the case may be, which is time-consuming.

2. Shrug Emoji on Phones: Autocorrect in iPhone; Personal Dictionary Shortcut in Android

iPhone: If you’re on an iPhone, you can make judicious use of the Autocorrect feature to use shruggie in your everyday conversations.

To do this, copy the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoji. On your phone, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘General’, then ‘Keyboard’ and then ‘Shortcut’. You can add shortcuts (autocorrects) to your phone from this. Tap on the ‘+‘ icon on the top right corner of your screen. This will open a screen like the one below. Type out the phrase that you want to use as a trigger keyword for the shrug emoji. You can use any phrase. And then paste the shrug emoji ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ on the shortcut field.

shrug emoji

Once you’ve saved it, every time you type out the trigger keyword (phrase), it will be replaced by the actual emoji – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Android: To use ‘shruggie’ on Android, we’ll create a shortcut using the Personal Dictionary Settings.

First copy the shrug emoji – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Go to your phone ‘Settings’, then under Personal, go to ‘Language & Input’, under Language and input, you’ll see ‘Personal dictionary’, tap on it. If you see language choices, select ‘For all languages’.

Tap on the ‘+‘ icon on the top right corner of your screen to add a new shortcut.

Where it says ‘Type a word’, paste the emoji – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. And then type out the trigger keyword/phrase where it says ‘Shortcut’. The trigger keyword could be anything. But make sure it’s uncommon and something you could associate the emoji with.

shrug emoji

Now go to any chat application, like WhatsApp for instance, once you type out the trigger keyword, you will see the shrug emoticon appear as an option (suggestion). Tap on it to use. If it doesn’t appear, go to your phone’s Language & Input settings and turn on the ‘Spell checker’.

shrug emoticon

If you’re an avid user of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, you will discover that these simple steps will make your life a whole lot easier.

3. Shruggie on Computers: Text Replacement in Mac and Windows

Mac: The principle with using the shrug emoticon in Mac is the same as that of the iPhone. It is basically an autocorrect feature where we preset the autocorrect.

To set the autocorrect feature on Mac, go to ‘Keyboards’, click on it. You will see 4 tabs. Click on ‘Text’. Under the Text tab, click on the ‘+‘ icon at the bottom to add a new shortcut (autocorrect).

Enter your trigger keyword/phrase for the shrugging emoticon. Make sure the keyword is a phrase that you do not use commonly. For instance, if you just use the word ‘shrug’ as the trigger keyword, you will end up with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ every time you type the word shrug. So as, Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic suggests, a keyword such as ‘&shrug’ seem like an ideal choice.

Once you have decided on your keyword, paste the emoji ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ on the next field.

Every time you type the ‘&shrug’ keyword, you will get the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.


The trick is the same for Windows.

Other Ways to Type The Shrug Emoji

There are many other ways you could use the shrugging emoji. Common methods include the use of apps and text expansion keyboard apps. For instance, there is an iPhone app called :shrug: that is basically a keyboard with just one key (shruggie). It does nothing but add a shrug emoji.

However, for the integrity of this post, we will discourage the use of external apps. If you have successfully followed the steps mentioned above, you will have no need of using external apps to use the emoji.

Other methods suggest the use of the original Japanese Kana keyboard. But the Katakana is a totally different script and the use of it requires you to be familiar with the script. For instance, the ツ in ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is called tsu, which you cannot even find directly in the keyboard. So to the use of the Kana keyboard, we say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Happy shrugging! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯