Butterball Is Begging for a Turkey Emoji

published Oct 16, 2017
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(Image credit: Georgejmclittle)

How many times do you think you’ll say the word “turkey” during the week of Thanksgiving? I usually say it twice: “When will the turkey be ready?” and “Why isn’t the turkey ready yet?” But the experts who man the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line say or type that particular word more than 5,000 times – and they’re ready to give their vocal cords and their texting fingers a break.

Butterball is officially begging Unicode for a turkey emoji, not only because they’re tired of writing the word but because they say that Thanksgiving has earned it.

“Every other major holiday has at least one emoji,” Butterball says. “There are fireworks, Champagne, and noise-makers for New Year’s Eve; cupid hearts for Valentine’s Day; ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween; and so much more. But Thanksgiving, the most-celebrated holiday in the country, doesn’t have an emoji that truly captures the occasion.” (If my annual traffic-clogged commute to my folks’ is any indication, the car emoji and the middle finger emoji capture the occasion perfectly.)

Yes, there’s already a turkey emoji, but the inedible-looking wild gobbler (added in 2015) is not a Thanksgiving turkey. “If your turkey looks like this, even we can’t help you,” a Turkey Talk volunteer jokes during Butterball’s video plea.

Butterball does make a good point: a lot of other holidays are well-represented on your phone’s emoji keyboard. So far, almost 5,000 people agree with them and have signed their Change.org petition.

On the other side of this somewhat (okay, incredibly) ridiculous debate, PETA has voiced its opposition to the idea, calling Butterball’s cute little animated turkey a “beheaded animal emoji.” In an extraordinarily graphic post on its website, PETA launched its own petition, providing a script to ask Unicode to ignore Butterball’s request.

So far, Unicode hasn’t responded either way. iPhone users are about to get an iOS update that includes more than 200 new emojis, but there’s no perfectly browned bird in the bunch. There is a Genie, though, so maybe Butterball can ask him about getting a turkey for next year.