Gene is an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter. Because of this, he is able to take the appearance of multiple different standard emojis. In the beginning of the movie, he is shown to be unable to control this, yet later in the movie he has control over his quirk. (Continuity? What’s that?)
Gene is determined to become "normal" like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic "app-venture" through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it's deleted forever.
Gene has been full of emotions ever since he can remember. The reason for this is unknown, however his dad also has the same condition. His goal is to be re-programmed by Jailbreak so he can only feel one emotion: meh.
It is also strongly implied in The Emoji Movie that Gene is a distant relative of Jailbreak, explaining both their similar appearances and shared catchphrase of "existence is suffering." If this relationship is indeed true, it also explains why Gene and Jailbreak's love is forbidden in the lore of The Emoji Movie.
- Gene possibly gets his name from science. Your genes carry your hereditary traits, such as your hair or eye color, and are passed from parent to offspring. Gene has odd traits, which would normally be determined by his genes. Therefore, he could be getting his name from this.