If you're of a certain age, you probably remember Microsoft Clippy. The plucky paperclip loved to pop up and offer you help that you definitely didn't need (seriously, how hard can Microsoft Word be?), only to be discontinued in 2007. But it seems everyone's (least) favourite paperclip is back.
Microsoft announced last week that if its tweet (below) got 20k Likes, it would resurrect Clippy in emoji form, replacing the standard paperclip icon. And what do you think happened, dear reader? The internet rose to the challenge, and the tweet currently has over 165k Likes. Clippy's coming home. (Check our our guide to character design if you're inspired to create your own.)
If this gets 20k likes, we’ll replace the paperclip emoji in Microsoft 365 with Clippy. pic.twitter.com/6T8ziboguCJuly 14, 2021
In a subsequent blog post, Microsoft revealed that Clippy's comeback is part of a much larger emoji overhaul, with the company shifting towards a "playful" vibe. Head shapes, for example, are designed using an imperfect circle. "People aren’t perfect, so why should our graphical representations be?" Microsoft asks. (Apologies to any readers with a perfectly circular head.)
But of course, the headline here is Clippy. "We had to use this opportunity to make a change that only we could truly make — so long flat, standard paperclip, and hello Clippy!", Microsoft says. "Sure, we may use fewer paper clips today than we did in Clippy’s heyday, but we couldn’t resist the nostalgic pull."
But while Clippy wasn't exactly popular back in the nineties and noughties, it seems the internet has grown nostalgic about the character in recent years. Perhaps after the events of the last year-and-a-bit, everyone's yearning for simpler times. We know we are.
You better like this shit. We need this. The world needs this. Clippy is healing. https://t.co/s9uRIyNioaJuly 14, 2021
And let's not forget, emoji are a pretty well-established form of communication these days – just yesterday, Adobe revealed the world's favourite emoji in 2021. If you fancy designing one of your own, check out today's best Adobe Creative Cloud deals below.