What Does Kappa Mean? The Twitch Emote Explained


As a long-time Twitch user, it’s easy to forget that there are many things people who don’t regularly watch, just won’t understand. This got me thinking about the different Twitch emotes and how it’s almost formed into a new language! So people are probably thinking? ‘What does Kappa mean?’

Kappa is an emote on Twitch, usually used to show sarcasm, irony, trolling or a joke. Placed at the end of a sentence, it can help you differentiate between criticism and sarcasm on Twitch.

You may be the best player in the world but I’d still beat you Kappa

Who is the face of Kappa?


The face of Kappa is Josh DeSeno, a former employee of Justin.tv (A sister company of Twitch.tv that closed down in 2014). DeSeno was hired as a programmer for the platform and was tasked with working on the chatting feature. All the employees from Justin.tv created emojis of their faces as hidden easter eggs for users to find, and it was here that DeSeno used a greyscale version of his photo ID as his easter egg.

So you may be wondering how the emote got its name? It is said DeSeno was a big fan of Japanese pop culture and mythology and therefore he chose the “Kappa” a strong turtle-like trickster. The perfect name to pair with the smug-looking face.

How did Kappa become so popular?

Kappa quickly caught on as an emote that represented the smug look. In a time where meme culture wasn’t so popular, it was easy to type which was useful for filling up a chat with emote spam. This lead to it being used in the sarcastic and joking way it is now, making it popular among streamers and viewers.

How popular is Kappa now?

Kappa was once the most popular emote on Twitch and as of writing this article it has been used more than 526,725,026 times. However the rise of other emotes such as LUL, TriHard and PogChamp mean that its usage may no longer be the most common. You can visit Streamelements to get a live count on how many people are using the emote.

The different variations of Kappa

Since the Kappa emote has gained popularity on Twitch.tv there have been many different variations created and deployed that are now used regularly as well.



This is a rainbow version of the original Kappa, often used when confirming someone’s sexuality.



The KappaRoss emote was implemented as a gesture towards Bob Ross, an American painter and television host, who’s show ‘The Joy of Painting’ was re-popularized on Twitch. Here the emote features Bobs’ signature afro.



Released in December 2015 the KappaClaus emote features a greyscale Santa hat and is often used during the holiday season.



The KappaWealth emote features a red hat with two coins sticking out of the sides. Its usage is mostly in European languages and it’s origins remain a mystery.



Keepo is a version of Kappa referencing the Dota 2 character Meepo. It includes ears and a straw in the mouth, the same as the Dota character. This emote is often mistaken as a cat version of Kappa and so can be used as both.



DarkMode is Twitch emote that, as the name suggests, takes on a darker side. Featuring Devil horns and glowing red eyes, this emote can be used for the more sinister trolling!

What is the Golden Kappa?


The Golden Kappa emote, is a special golden version of the Kappa emote that can only be used by 1 random person on Twitch every day.

This oftentimes leads to streamers asking their chat to do a ‘Golden Kappa Check’. This would require all of the users in their chatroom to post a Kappa emote and see if there was a lucky person with special emote.

Image of Golden Kappa in Chat

That’s it! Now you’re an expert of the Kappa, and you can go educate all your non-twitch friends!

Are YOU trying to grow your stream?

If you’re a streamer on Twitch, YouTube or Mixer and you’re looking to grow much bigger in 2021 then this article is a MUST READ. Whether you’re starting from zero or already established, the information here will make sure 2021 your best year yet!

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