The Great Cheeseburger Emoji Debate: Which Side Are You On?

The internet is in flames and we’re using the heat to grill some burgers.

By Ethan L. Johns
October 31, 2017

You’ve likely already picked a side. You probably didn’t even realize it, either. Think. Think back to your last cheeseburger. It was so perfectly cooked, with a perfect criss-cross of grill marks. You might have even added bacon. But where did the cheese go? Was it draped over the patty like a warm, gooey blanket? Or did it act as a landing pad, melting into the lower bun as the sizzling beef pressed down upon it?

The cheese placement debate is important, and that’s why the internet has been raging. Top or bottom? The question is so simple, so epicly controversial, so perfectly frivolous. Are people really mad? Probably not. Is it fun to pretend to be mad on the internet? Hell yes. It’s a perfect storm. Not since the eruption of Mount Ketchupkatoa have things gone so haywire. Do we dare call it... an internet grease fire?

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The debate was sparked over the weekend after the writer Thomas Baekdal pointed out that the cheese in Google’s hamburger emoji was situated below the beef, while Apple’s cheese was on top. Google CEO Sundar Pichai pledged to "drop everything" and dedicate his Monday to the issue.

Quickly jumping to the defense of the cheese-on-the-bottom method was Sporkful host Dan Pashman. Pashman has long been a passionate proponent of the cheese-below-the-beef construction, the benefits of which he has outlined in his podcast. Melted cheese hitting your tongue first? Check. Wet bun? Not a chance.

Things have escalated since then, leaving no emoji untouched. While the public consensus seems to be that the cheese should be melted on top of the beef, Samsung’s version places it between the tomato and lettuce. WhatsApp puts both veggies on the bottom. If Apple’s hamburger was a burger king, the tomato would be the crown and the lettuce would be the throne.

Forgetting for the moment that the emoji is technically not a cheeseburger emoji at all (according to Emojipedia it was approved by the Unicode Consortium in 2010 as the “Hamburger” emoji), in the end, it all comes down to preference. Put your darn cheese wherever you want it.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns