Unless you live under a virtual rock, chances are that you’ve seen this handsome face countless times in gaming chatrooms, memes, and pop culture in general. But do you know this reference? Maybe you’re unclear about what it actually represents, and you’ve been too embarrassed to ask for fear of looking like a noob (the greatest slander a gamer can be subjected to). Fret not, because today we take you through a deep dive into the history and meaning of the famous Kappa emote on twitch!


Kappa grew as a reference on Twitch as it gained mainstream popularity. The Twitch community created the Kappa as an inside joke or a community reference, one of the first of its kind for the platform. So, what does Kappa mean? Basically, anything is said to be ‘Kappa’ if it is ironic or sarcastic in nature. For example, us claiming that this article isn’t the best one out there is a Kappa claim to make :).

How do we indicate something to be Kappa? By using the handsome face above! Anything that this face refers to becomes Kappa and is understood to be ironic or sarcastic. The face symbolizes all things Kappa to the point where the word itself doesn’t even need to be used! All you need to do is use the face, and the rest is implied. Anyone calling us out for our Kappa claim above would do so by plastering their comment with the face emotes.


The origins of Kappa are as old as those of Twitch itself! Its history is intertwined with that of the platform; Twitch started as the game streaming section of Justin.tv. In time, while the popularity of Justin.tv dwindled, that of Twitch grew, until it became independent and eventually came to control Justin.tv entirely.

The face behind Kappa belongs to Josh DeSeno, a programmer for the erstwhile Justin.tv. While making the chat client for Justin.tv, he added various emotes, including the legendary one that has come to be recognized across the world today. He used a grayscale image of his own face as an emoticon and christened it as Kappa. What a power move! The inspiration behind calling the emote ‘Kappa’ came from Japanese folklore, where the Kappa is a mythical creature that lures people into water bodies. The emote gained popularity instantly, and that isn’t stopping anytime soon. So how popular IS the Kappa, exactly?


Kappa emotes on twitch is one of the most reproduced photos of a human being in history. And we’re including the Mona Lisa and Elvis on that list. Just on Twitch, it is used about 1 MILLION times a day! This figure is inflated because the Twitch community has an affinity for using multiple Kappa emotes in the same comment. It is incessantly spammed and including all the variations of Kappa that exist, it is used approximately 2 million times a day on Twitch alone!


Why wouldn’t they? For something so ingrained in mainstream consciousness, it is inevitable for variants to be created. As of right now, Twitch does NOT allow Twitch streamers to create their own custom Kappas and all variants are released officially by Twitch. The most famous of these is the legendary Golden Kappa. It is very rare and seemingly randomly assigned to Twitch users. Every appearance of the Golden Kappa in a chatroom is met with festive celebrations. Some other notable Kappa variants include the Bob Ross Kappa with the rad afro and the Pride Kappa, which was released as part of Twitch’s celebrations for Pride Month.

What a LEGACY it is that DeSeno is leaving the world with.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Looking to grow your Twitch followers? We can help!