If you’ve spent even just a few minutes on Twitch, you’ve likely already seen dozens and dozens of emotes, and you’ll notice many of the same one being used frequently. Many of these emotes are staples of Twitch culture, but you might ask yourself: where did these emotes come from?
We’re compiling a list of the Twitch global emotes, as well as their origin stories. Read on to learn about one of the mainstays of Twitch!
This list is an ongoing work. For suggestions and corrections, please email: email@example.com
The Origin Of Every Twitch Emote
PogChamp originated in a November 2010 blooper reel for the show Cross Counter TV. The face is that of Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, who made that face when a cameraman bumped into the tripod of the camera they were filming the show with. The name PogChamp came from a 2011 promotional video titled “Pogs Championship.” where Gootecks and Mike Ross (also featured in the blooper video) compete in a game of Pogs to see who will win a Mad Catz joystick.
Kappa is a black-and-white photo of Josh DeSeno, a former Justin.tv employee who uploaded the picture when Justin.tv was adding emotes, which later found its way to Twitch (Twitch was the name of the gaming section of Justin.tv back in the day, before Twitch became the parent company.) DeSeno chose the word “Kappa” due to his affinity of Japanese culture, with Kappa being a creature that lures people to lakes and pulls them in. Today, it’s used as a sign of sarcasm not only on Twitch, but across the internet as a whole.
BibleThump was added in 2012, and it’s the face of the character Isaac from The Binding of Isaac. It’s used by chatters to convey sadness over what’s happened on stream.
Kreygasm originated in 2011 when Twitch streamer Kreyg was asked if his likeness could be used for a global chat emote. Around this time, the term “kreygasm” came about in Kreyg’s stream chat, and when Kreyg uploaded this photo to Twitch, it became an official emoticon in September 2011.
TriHard is a photo of Twitch streamer and speedrunner TriHex. The origin of TriHard came about in June 2012 from the Akon-23 anime convention, when TriHex took a photo with a woman and made this face, which was then cropped to create the emote we all know and love.
FrankerZ came about thanks to Ernest Le; Le would refer to himself as “Frankerz” while speaking in a different voice, and this led to a global Twitch emote called “FrankerZ” that used a picture of Le’s dog. This emoticon is used in varying circumstances ranging from sarcasm to playfulness. The FrankerZ dog passed away in 2018, causing many streamers and Twitch viewers to pay respect on social media.
A simple photo of League of Legends streamer Cadberry smiling has become a global phenomenon. 4Head started popping up around 2015, and it’s often used in reaction to a joke on stream; whether it’s a genuine laugh or used facetiously is up to the user…
DansGame came about when a streamer who went by DansGaming made this face during a 2010 video. DansGaming would go on to become an administrator at Twitch, and uploaded this face as an emoticon in 2011 under “DansGame.” It’s used to convey anger, annoyance, or disgust.
LUL was originally an emote exclusive to the late John “TotalBiscuit” Bain’s channel, and the emoticon was called “cynicallaugh.” It was taken from a photo of Bain laughing at MLG Anaheim; however, Bain received a DMCA from the photographer of the event and so the emote was removed. In 2016, Twitch added a sketched version of the emote, and LUL was born.
The exact origin of cmonBruh doesn’t appear to be known, but it started gaining traction in 2016 when Twitch streamer shofu commented that the emote was heavily racist. Today, the emote is used to convey confusion, as well as react to blatantly racist things said or done on stream.
BlessRNG is an emote of the streamer with the same name. Brad “BlessRNG” Jolly had this emoticon created in 2017, and it’s become a staple of thanking good RNG in video games during streams. It’s most often seen in the chats of speedrunners, where RNG can often make or break runs.
WutFace is a photo of a Twitch employee named Alex Mendez, who was sitting in a crowd making this open-mouthed expression. The emote is used for a variety of situations, ranging from shock to confusion as to what’s happening on stream. It’s also used when technical difficulties arise, such as when stream audio starts acting up or if the video goes haywire.
ResidentSleeper is the go-to emoji for users to express boredom of what’s happening or being talked about on stream. It originated when a streamer who goes by Oddler fell asleep during a 72-hour Resident Evil marathon; the name truly encapsulates its origins.
PeoplesChamp features the face of Bobby “Scar” Scarnewman, a Super Smash Bros. Melee competitor and commentator. Scar rose to fame with a series of Captain Falcon combo videos called I Killed Mufasa, and became one of the most acclaimed commentators in the Melee scene. After Scar began working at Twitch, they made him an emote called PeoplesChamp, which is what Scar was called during his time as a competitive Melee player.
Jebaited came about in 2016, and features the face of Alex Jebailey, the director of the CEO and DreamHack fighting game events. It’s mostly used whenever a streamer is “baited” in a game, and also used in an infamous stream copypasta “Now We Jebaited.”
As this list is a work in progress, any suggestions for more emotes+corrections that should be made, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org