I would be totally carefree and joyful without checking this Tweet by @dinasimp.
As I was looking at the image, I thought to myself “It’s impossible not to exist” I swear that I’ve noticed the robber emoji in my iOS smartphone emoticon keyboard. Was there a robber emoji?
As I browsed through all the different emoticons there and scrolled through the police-related ones, I assumed that the rubber emojis should have their place there too. But, the robber emoji wasn’t there, surprisingly.
Other people were surprised too. So many folks were also surprised as they swore they had seen the robbery emoji somewhere before. Some even discussed the matter on a Reddit thread and asked each other where it exists – but in vain.
Perhaps we are dealing with a case of the “Mandela effect”.
And if you are unfamiliar with the concept, it’s pretty fancy. It’s about forming unreal memories that other people can relate with too, and it’s a much more common occurrence these days in the social media and online world.
The term originates from a false memory effect in 2010 when self-called “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome has claimed that the death of the famous Nelson Mandela was actually in the 80s. But this was certainly not the case as Mandela was living in 2010. This false memory also appeared to be shared by thousands of other people besides Broome, as she claimed.
Other notable examples of this effect feature false memories of the “Berenstain Bears” misspelt as “Berenstein” and the false existence of a film called “Shazaam” with Sinbad being a genie (which I think I’ve seen a movie poster of this somewhere in my younger days).
Some believe that the Mandela phenomenon may indicate the existence of a different reality. But, researchers and scientists state that false memories may occur by a combo of imaginary memories, fake news, and fake images.
The robber emoji may be a target of this effect.
Could it originate from Bitlife?
Another possible explanation is that the robber emoji actually existed in a famous game application known as “Bitlife ”. Since I was a big fan of the game, this made total sense as well.
I recall seeing Bitlife emoticons applied during the game. For instance, if I chose to play a criminal character and rob a bank, I would look up and use the robber emoji that resembles the emoticon shown above. But, even though I played the app repeatedly, I still couldn’t find the emoticon.
Alternatively, I used an avatar that appeared as he would normally if he attempted to rob a bank – which is a peculiar thing to do in reality. You have to wear a mask to conceal your true face if you were to commit a crime like this.
Another thing that I spotted in the game was a relevant emoticon that indicated burglary – a raccoon. The black mask-like circles around the raccoon eyes made me conclude that I actually remembered the raccoon symbol, which triggered the false memory.
It shall be noted that the Bitlife application updates were frequent and thus the game and interface that I used to play some time ago wasn’t 100% the same I’m playing currently. I assumed that the missing robbery emoticon in this game could be explained by the regular updates. This made me look up and watch some older YT videos of people playing the game to actually find the emoticon.
Once I watched older YT videos of people playing the game and especially those involved in crime gameplay, I still wasn’t able to spot the robbery emoji. And it was impossible to return in time further, as the game was just released in 2018.
I nearly quit my quest until I came across a tweet in Bitlife’s main profile where a user believed that the emoji existed in that game.
Bitlife could also be capitalizing on this buzz around the game, which is why they left the actual question “does this robbery symbol exist in the game or not” up in the air. It may have appeared in the game before but not in the current version.
So What About the Other Robbery Emoji Illustrations?
As far as I was concerned, I spotted an emoticon with a mask and beanie on the front. But, there were many other illustrations of what others assumed the emoticon might appear.
I can’t remember seeing any of these emoticons, which is a sign that folks are just messing around and spreading lies – or perhaps really believe they have spotted it somewhere. People are also wondering about the existence of hiking emoticon (which I can barely think of).
Obviously, people may just recall the “blind human” emoji.
After hours and hours looking for answers, it saddens me to conclude that the robbery emoji never existed, at least in our reality. Looking up “criminal” in the Emoji encyclopedia was also burdensome. There were famous villain emojis but no robber emoji there, which didn’t make any sense to me.
Emoticons are a common thing we use nowadays. However, if you wish to find out more about their history in the scene and the new emojis added, watch this episode provided by 99% Invisible.