HomeTRENDINGTwitch emotes list: the meaning of twitch characters, explained

Twitch emotes list: the meaning of twitch characters, explained

22:23, 25/03/2021

To understand every moment of Twitch — every pitfall, every win, every ridiculous play — is lớn underst& the emotes, those instantaneous reactions in the right sidebar. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of emotes being sent over Twitch chat every second, & to lớn someone who’s just ventured in to lớn kiểm tra out a stream, it can be a little daunting.

Emotes have sầu their ups và downs. Some, lượt thích Kappa, are used to lớn help people communicate with one another during incredible streaming moments while the chat moves at breaknechồng speeds. Other people may start using an innocuous emote designed around a popular streamer for insulting or harmful reasons. Being part of Twitch culture means tuning into emotes as they emerge and evolve. That’s easier said than done.

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New emotes are introduced all the time. Extensions like BTTV make it easier for third-parties to lớn integrate emotes into lớn Twitch, circumventing the platform’s own rules. Not khổng lồ mention that an emote’s meaning in one community can be totally different in another. It’s all very headađậy inducing if you’re not in deep.

To get you up to lớn speed, we’ve sầu compiled a danh sách of popular emotes below, with the intention of adding more if any rise in popularity, and updating the explanations if the emotes change in meaning. If a particular emote isn’t on the danh mục, but is popular within the circle of streamers you follow, the best way lớn understand what it means và how it’s used is khổng lồ ask in chat, on Twitter or kiểm tra out the streamer’s Reddit page for further details.

aaaarrghh.com spoke with Don Caldwell, Know Your Meme’s managing editor, lớn help explain why some of these emotes are incredibly popular.

Twitch emotes

Kappa Twitch


What it means: Kappa is a starting point for anyone trying to enter và understand Twitch culture, according to Caldwell. The emote is based on former Justin.TV employee, Josh DeSeno, who was charged with setting up the chat client. People mainly use or spam Kappage authority as a way of carrying out a sarcastic reply to something happening on stream.

“It is the kind of quintessential emote,” Caldwell said. “It might get briefly taken over by Trihard or ForsenE or another popular emote, but it remains at the top consistently. It’s almost a requirement to know what Kappage authority is.”

When to use it: If a streamer does something that makes you roll your eyes or clap with a sarcastic bite, this is the emote to use.

TriHard Twitch


What it means: TriHard is an extremely popular, yet controversial emote — và it has a detailed history. Based on a face made by streamer TriHex while at an anime convention in Dallas, the emote didn’t officially become “TriHard” until năm trước when TriHex was speedrunning Yoshi’s Islvà & noticed a Twitch staff member hanging out in chat. TriHex told Kotaku he did everything possible to lớn get their attention and, essentially, was trying way too hard. So he became TriHard.

The emote is mostly innocuous, though in recent years it’s been used with racist connotations by some Twitch users. By mid-2016 and into 2017, users would spam the screen with TriHard whenever a blaông chồng streamer appeared, often punctuating racist remarks made in-chat. TriHex finally spoke about the emote’s weaponization. He argued that banning the emote meant the bad actors won when there was nothing obscene or offensive about the emote’s conception.

When khổng lồ use it: If something exciting happens on screen, hype is building or an exciting announcement is made, feel không lấy phí khổng lồ use this emote. Remember, however, to lớn be aware of who is on screen when the emote is being used, and ensure that your hype message doesn’t read as insulting or offensive sầu.

PogChamp Twitch


PogChamp, one of the oldest emotes on Twitch, is based on Gootecks, a professional Street Fighter player, and is mainly used khổng lồ express surprise in response to lớn something happening on stream. PogChamp is based on this đoạn phim from 2000, but was given the name PogChamp because of a Mad Catz fight stichồng promo released in 2011 for a tournament that Gootecks was competing in.

PogChamp is still one of the most popular emotes, và part of the reason is because it’s pretty safe.

How to lớn use it: If you want khổng lồ express being surprised or excited by something.

4Head Twitch


4head is pretty self-explanatory when it comes lớn visuals. It’s an emote based on a phokhổng lồ of League of Legends’ streamer Cadburry’s widely grinning face. The emote started lớn pichồng up in năm ngoái. It’s a pretty wholesome meme, that is mostly used lớn express a reaction khổng lồ a joke being made. The reaction can either be seen as an earnest response or sarcastic.

How to use it: In reaction lớn a joke.

cmonbruh Twitch


Unlượt thích TriHard, cmonbruh’s emote has always been slightly controversial. It’s difficult to lớn pinpoint when CmonBruh really became a meme, but the earliest known mention dates baông xã khổng lồ 2016, according to lớn Know Your Meme. The emote is primarily used khổng lồ express confusion over something being said on stream, usually in response khổng lồ a chat participant saying something with a racist connotation. The emote is also used, however, lớn illustrate a more general confusion — hence the “c’tháng, bruh” language.

How to lớn use it: If someone says something that is completely baffling và absurd.

LUL Twitch


LUL may seem pretty obvious —t’s the Twitch emote equivalent lớn LOL, but it has a serpentine history. LUL is based on streamer and YouTuber TotalBiscuit, whose real name is John Bain. Although Bain added the “LUL” emote khổng lồ Twitch himself, it was later removed following a DMCA takedown request from the photographer who took the photo lớn.

Since Twitch didn’t want khổng lồ touch the emote because of legal concerns, according khổng lồ Bain, he uploaded the photo to BTTV. BTTV, otherwise known as BetterTTV, is a third-buổi tiệc nhỏ browser extension that allows people to lớn use emotes in chat. Since these aren’t run through Twitch directly, the emotes often circumvent rules. This meant LUL could exist as an emote — a very, very popular emote — on Twitch despite the DMCA takedown. It only grew from there.

How to lớn use it: If you want khổng lồ express deep laughter.

BTTV emotes



LuL is LUL — it’s just the BTTV version. What’s most interesting about LuL, however, are the multiple variations that it’s birthed. There’s OmegaLUL, which features Bain’s laughing face but with wider mouth; OmegaLUL CD, which covers his mouth with a CD và was recently removed from Twitch because of controversy surrounding it; there are so many different variation of the LuL emote based on photos of different streamers laughing. There are so many variations that all stem from one joke but mean wildly different things, it’s nearly impossible to keep traông xã of.

The best advice when using a LuL variation is to lớn vày a bit of retìm kiếm before using a specific emote. See how people in the community use the emote in chat, or kiểm tra to see if conversations are happening on Reddit. The only way to lớn safely use emotes in chat is khổng lồ be informed about the connotation và message being sent.

“Memes in general are about cultural literacy,” Caldwell said. “How can you show your membership to certain subculture? This is exactly what’s going on with Twitch emotes, and some of these are really hard to lớn grasp. Being able to have sầu a firm grasp of how these emotes work is important in order to participate. I think we’re going lớn see more & more emotes, & more và more variations of the same emotes.”

LuL is a good place to lớn explore those types of variations because most of them are still directly related khổng lồ laughing at something, and that’s a near universal language.

How lớn use it: Again, depending on the context, it’s used if you want to express extraordinary laughter at something.

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hahaa BTTV


Finally, we’ve sầu reached the cringe emote. haHAA is based on a phokhổng lồ of Andy Samberg’s face from a Lonely Isl& music video clip that aired on Saturday Night Live sầu in 2010. The specific “haHAA” is a text translation of the awkward laugh Samberg produces in the video clip, as seen below.

The emote was introduced in năm ngoái, but didn’t piông xã up steam until 2016 thanks khổng lồ the speedrunning community. GamesDoneQuiông xã, a semiannual charity event that brings together top tốc độ runners, used the emote to lớn express their discomfort if something cringe-worthy happened during the speedrun or on stream. The emote continued lớn grow, and was eventually banned by GDQ organizers because of the bullying connotation.

As it became more popular, members of the Twitch community began khổng lồ associate the cringe-worthiness with young kids on the platsize. “I’m 12, btw” became punctuated by hahaa as a way of pointing lớn someone with the immaturity of a 12-year-old. It has since then become an emote used to lớn illustrate a cringe-worthy moment on stream, & insult other people.

How khổng lồ use it: If something happens on-stream or in-game that makes you cringe, you can use haHAA. That said, try not lớn be a total jerk on Twitch.

SourPls BTTV


SourPls is another older emote that was taken from a YouTube video clip & made into lớn a BTTV emote in năm trước. The emote’s name, based on the YouTube user who uploaded it, stars SourNotHardcore (a staff member at Twitch) dancing in a store. He’s got a goofy grin on his face. The emote has since gone through many variations with one of the most popular being ForsenPls. The emote went through its own period of troubles (the fact that it was animated caused problems for BTTV), but has since emerged as one of the most popular-to-date.

How khổng lồ use it: If you want lớn celebrate a particularly good sự kiện on stream.

FeelsBadMan Twitch


FeelsBadMan và FeelsGoodMan are two of the most popular Pepe the Frog variations, alongside EZ và PepeHands that we’ll get into below. The emote is based on artist Matt Furie’s Pepe the Frog, a longstanding comic character that became co-opted and weaponized by the alt-right during the 2016 election cycle. It’s one of the most recognizable memes on the internet, but Know Your Meme’s Caldwell said its use as an emote on Twitch is particularly interesting. The rest of the world associates Pepe the Frog with political ties, but Caldwell suggests that Twitch’s Pepe use remains largely unpolitical.

“Once all the controversy happened with Pepe in recent years — especially in the 2016 election — people were left wondering what the future of Pepe was,” Caldwell said. “Will he be able to lớn escape this connotation? On Twitch, yes. Pepe is living in a non-political context, và completely divorced from politics. On Twitch, with these emotes, there’s no political connotation.”

FeelsGoodMan Twitch
That’s debatable. People know what Pepe the Frog means in 2018 — it’s why certain organizations like the Overwatch League don’t let people bring Pepe the Frog signs lớn events. Pepe the Frog’s existence as a Twitch emote is so sophisticated and ever changing that it can exist as its own article, but there are certainly some emotes that are more popular than others. FeelsBadMan và FeelsGoodMan are precisely what they sound like. One version of the frog, FeelsBadMan, is used to lớn express disappointment over something on screen. The other, FeelsGoodMan, is used lớn celebrate an accomplishment. “Feels Good Man” is based on a line the original Pepe the Frog character said in Furie’s comic strip. Think of FeelsBadMan và FeelsGoodMan as Twitch’s own tragedy & comedy drama masks.

How khổng lồ use it: Depending on the situation, if you want lớn express a feeling of deep sadness or joy over something that’s happened, use FeelsBadMan or FeelsGoodMan.



There’s a lot lớn break down khổng lồ really understand gachiGASM. The term “gachimuchi” is a Japanese phrase that refers to muscular men who also have sầu a fair amount of fat. This is how many people describe Billy Herrington, a former adult film star, who gained notoriety after one of his videos went viral on a site called Nico Niteo Douga. gachiGASM is, well, based on a photo lớn of Herrington’s face during orgasm. The emote is used to lớn express a sense of deep pleasure over something that happens on screen, hence the “GASM” attached to lớn the end of the emote name.

How lớn use it: If something happens that makes you really, really happy, feel miễn phí to lớn use gachiGASM.

Other notable emotes

Monkas Twitch


Monkas is another member of the Pepe emote family, và one of the most important emotes on Twitch. Monkas is the word you’re most likely to see outside of Twitch chat (on Reddit or Twitter), và it’s crucial to lớn understanding how certain communities react to it. Monkas goes baông xã to lớn a 4chan thread from 2011, but the illustration wasn’t used as en emote until năm 2016 when someone uploaded it lớn the FrankerFaceZ Twitch extension. But it wasn’t until February 2017, when it was dropped inlớn Forsen’s Reddit page,, that the emote really seemed khổng lồ take off. Once Forsen’s community runs with any emote or joke, all of Twitch is bound to lớn notice, & other communities followed suit.

Monkas tends khổng lồ show up often on different streams because it’s relatable. It’s used in a moment of high intense action or something that’s particularly anxiety-inducing. During IRL streams, this may happen during a face-to-face encounter or when a streamer is ranting about something. Chats for gaming streams will see this pop up during stressful gameplay moments, và the chat wants lớn express that feeling through a visual. Monkas is a pretty relatable emote, and it’s bound lớn be one you see floating around Twitch.

How khổng lồ use it: If you’re feeling particularly anxious or overwhelmed, throw up a Monkas.

Poggers BTTV


Poggers is another Pepe emote, but this one is sort of based on PogChamp — his frog alter ego . The emote was uploaded khổng lồ FrankerFacez, & became popular in 2017. It’s especially popular in certain scenes, lượt thích Overwatch streams or League of Legends matches.

How to use it: If you’re surprised or excited.

PepeHands BBTV


If you guessed this is another Pepe the Frog take, you’re correct. PepeHands also became mainstream thanks to lớn Forsen’s community, who spread it Reddit & spammed it in chat. The image, which features Pepe crying & his hands in the air, is mainly used to lớn express sadness over something.

How lớn use it: If something on stream upsets you or the streamer themselves is sad.

Mr. Destructoid Twitch

Mr. Destructroid

A robot meme based on đoạn phim game news publication Destructoid’s hình ảnh. The robot is mainly used when a glitch, error or computerized sound is made on stream. It’s also used, however, lớn poke fun at people’s robotic tendencies. It was used quite heavily during Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before congress that was livestreamed on Twitch by The Washington Post. Twitch chat would spam Mr. Destructroid whenever Zuckerberg said something or reacted lớn a question.

How khổng lồ use it: If someone is acting robotic, or a weird glitch happens.

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Jebaited BTTV


Jebaited is an emote based on FGC inhỏ, Alex Jebailey. The ibé, which shows Jebailey being taken aback by surprise, is used when someone is trying lớn troll or bait a streamer or other viewers in chat. It’s essentially a callout well known within the Twitch community. The term “jebaited” is often thrown around on forums lượt thích Reddit when someone is successfully trolled.

How khổng lồ use it: If someone in chat or on stream is trying khổng lồ bait or troll others, use the emote khổng lồ call them out.

There are so many other emotes that could have sầu made it onkhổng lồ this menu, but consider this your essential guide to getting started. Use the bình luận section below lớn drop some of your other favorite emotes that you use on Twitch.

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